Here at the Sheriff’s Office we treasure our relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. These partnerships have had a tremendous impact on the safety of our community for many years. Below, is a glimpse of one on-going investigation conducted by the Durham County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
The Durham County Sheriff’s Office has two Investigators assigned to the FBI’s Raleigh-Durham Safe Streets Task Force (gang task force) whose focus is on pursuing violent gangs through complex investigations to obtain federal prosecutions for violations such as racketeering, drug conspiracy, and firearms violations. The purpose for pursuing federal charges is to root out the entire gang, from the street level criminals and dealers up through the crew leaders and ultimately the gang’s command structure (neutralize the enterprise). The end goal is dismantlement of the gang, and imprisoning the gang’s most violent offenders and leadership for decades. An example of their effort is the investigation of the Durham-based, United Blood Nation, Nine Trey Gang known as the Family of Bosses (FOB). The FOB is a violent criminal organization that has committed murders, violent assaults, drive-by shootings, armed robberies, home invasions, car thefts, and engaged in significant drug trafficking.
Over the past two years, the gang task force, with assistance from the Durham County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Intelligence Unit and the Sheriff’s Anti-Crime and Narcotics Unit, has conducted sustained and targeted investigations of FOB members. The intent of these investigations is to develop evidence that the FOB operates as a criminal enterprise in order to charge as many members with “RICO” (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).* Examples of those efforts over the past two years, include the arrests and/or convictions of approximately 23 FOB members who participated in murders, shootings, home invasions, armed robberies, and break-ins. Additionally, 14 FOB members were arrested for drug trafficking or firearms violations. This included the arrest of the leader of the FOB, who is in jail pending federal drug trafficking charges. This individual is known throughout Durham as the leader of the FOB who ordered gang members to engage in numerous violent acts.
The next phase of the investigation is to utilize the evidence developed over the course of the FOB investigation that identifies the enterprise and the activities and actions of its members as part of a criminal conspiracy, in a RICO prosecution. Our Investigators continue to lead that effort and are working closely with federal prosecutors from the Middle District of North Carolina, and the Organized Crime and Gang Section from the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
*Racketeering: under RICO, a person who has committed at least two acts of racketeering activity (murder, violent assaults, armed robberies, drug trafficking, human trafficking, witness intimidation are examples), within a 10 year period can be charged with racketeering if such acts are related to an “enterprise” (organized gang engaged in criminal activity in order to fund, promote gang interests, and sustain the enterprise). Additionally, membership in the gang must be proven with evidence.