A gunman for a Philadelphia, Penn., street and drug gang was sentenced on Tuesday to serve life plus 130-years in federal prison after being convicted by a federal jury in December 2012, according to law enforcement officials.
The convicted gang member of the deadly and violent "Harlem Boys," 29-year-old Ramel Moten of Philadelphia, was found guilty of all charges including racketeering, attempted murder, assault and other drug-related charges connected to the Harlem Boys' illegal drug operation, according to federal prosecutors.
Moten and six other members -- Reginald Stephens, Bryan Hill, Warren Stokes, Hikeem Torrence, Merrell Hobbs, and Khalil Allen -- of the gang, which operated in and around the Bartram Village Housing Project in the southwest section of Philadelphia, were convicted at trial on Dec. 6, 2012. The trial lasted close to three months.
An additional 13 defendants charged in the extensive 89–count indictment made a plea deal with federal prosecutors, who accepted their guilty pleas, law enforcement officials stated.
According to law enforcement testimony at trial, Moten was a lead gunman, supplier and distributor of illegal narcotics for the Harlem Boys, who were neither from Harlem in New York City, nor were they boys. Moten also acted as the gangs "gun custodian" often providing firearms to the other members of the gang for use in robberies.
The gang committed a string of felonies that included attempted murder in aid of racketeering, robbery, carjacking, assault in aid of racketeering, threats in aid of racketeering, firearms offenses that include use of firearms during the commission of violent crimes and numerous drug-related offenses, that included a criminal conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base, the indictment states.
"The sentence imposed [Tuesday] sends a very clear message to gang members in [Philadelphia] that if you engage in violent behavior you will be investigated, prosecuted, and put behind bars for a very long time. [We have] a zero–tolerance policy towards career criminals who continually inflict senseless acts of violence in our neighborhoods," said Special Agent–in–Charge Sam Rabadi, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
"Communities, like Bartram Village, can have an improved quality of life when violent predators are removed from our streets," SAC Rabadi added.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Stengel ordered Moten to pay a $5,000 fine and a $3,100 special assessment.