(DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NEWS RELEASE) - Two members of the violent “Gangster Disciples” street gang were sentenced to federal prison. Lawrence J. Laurenzi, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentences today.
The Gangster Disciples are a violent criminal gang which began in the Chicago, Illinois area. In the 1970’s, the leaders of two different Chicago-based gangs, the Black Disciples and the Supreme Gangsters, aligned their respective groups and created the Gangster Disciples.
Once united, the Gangster Disciples began recruiting heavily in Chicago, within Illinois jails and prisons, and throughout the United States. By the mid-1980’s, the group had spread throughout the Midwestern and Eastern United States. The Gangster Disciples are active in approximately 35 states including Tennessee.
According to information presented at sentencing, on June 21, 2014, Florence Anthony, a member of the Gangster Disciples, got into an altercation with a group of individuals at the Hillview Apartments located in Memphis, Tennessee. Anthony reported the confrontation to her Gangster Disciples chain-of-command. Based on Anthony’s report, the Gangster Disciples chain-of-command issued orders to retaliate against those responsible for the attack on Anthony and her children.
At approximately 10:30 p.m., Erik Reese and four other members of the Gangster Disciples returned to the Hillview Apartments to retaliate against what were identified as rival gang members. Each individual was armed with firearms and proceeded on foot through the apartments shooting four juveniles and one adult male. All five victims survived, but some sustained serious bodily injuries.
On March 8, 2017, seven members of the Gangster Disciples pled guilty to committing violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity.
On June 22, 2017, Senior District Judge Samuel H. Mays sentenced Florence Anthony to 135 months in federal prison, along with 3 years’ supervised release. Erik Reese was sentenced to 382 months imprisonment and 3 years’ supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Multi-Agency Gang Unit, Police Departments for Memphis, Bartlett and Germantown; Sheriff’s Offices for Tipton, Desoto and Shelby; and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jerry Kitchen and,Michelle Kimbril-Parks, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Stringfellow, prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.