The Lex Mob: Entire Organized Crime Gang Eliminated by Cops, Feds
Posted by Jason Saine on 2005/10/28 11:10:08 (7 reads) News by the same author
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Four members of a violent and murderous Jersey City, NJ street gang known as "Lex Mob" (or L.E.X Mob) pleaded guilty to multiple charges, admitting their involvement in a racketeering enterprise that involved retaliatory murder, conspiracy to murder rivals and drug distribution, according to the US Attorney based in Newark.
The four pleas -- which came just as the gang members were about to go to trial -- brings the number of guilty pleas in the case to 26 and eliminates the Lex Mob as an organized gang enterprise in Jersey City. A fifth and final guilty plea scheduled to occur was adjourned and is expected to be rescheduled soon.
Facing a Racketeering Influence and Criminal Organization or RICO trial, the last five Lex Mob defendants - including leader Rondell Warner, 34-year old Jersey City resident, signed plea agreements, after jury selection was halted upon word that the defendants wanted to negotiate pleas with Assistant US Attorneys Marc Agnifilo and Melissa Jampol. Each of the defendants appeared before U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh, with four of the five entering guilty pleas to respective roles in murder, murder conspiracies and cocaine trafficking.
Their guilty pleas expose them to sentences ranging from 20 years to life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2006, and all of the defendants were returned to custody, where they have been since their arrests in February and March 2002. There is no parole in the federal system, and defendants must serve most or all of their sentences.
"The Lex Mob is no longer," said US Attorney Christopher Christie. "It was targeted by all levels of law enforcement and dismantled, piece by piece, member by member, until the gang ceased to exist. This is the kind of prosecution we've used before and one that all organized gangs in New Jersey should fear."
The Lex Mob took its name from the corner of Lexington and Bergen Avenues, the base of operations for cocaine distribution and an area where numerous drug- and gang-related murders and shootings had taken place between 1993 and 2002.
Of the 27 defendants first charged federally in a criminal complaint in March 1, 2002, twenty-two had already pleaded guilty leading up to the scheduled trial of Warner and his co-defendants. Of those 22, about half of them had signed cooperating plea agreements and were expected to testify at trial
The U.S. Attorney's Office has used the federal RICO statute four times so far to target street gangs. As with traditional organized crime, for which the RICO statute was originally created, street gangs like Lex Mob and the Bloods gangs in New Jersey have sophisticated hierarchies with multiple layers of leadership. That hierarchy tends to insulate the top and most powerful members of gangs, who use lower-level members to commit individual crimes. That has made local prosecutions of the leading gang members difficult.
Instead, as was the case with Lex Mob, Jersey City police and the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office combined forces with the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office, which could employ the RICO statute, which allows prosecutors to focus on the organization as a whole, rather than focus on individuals or individual offenses.
Sources: Jersey City, NJ Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Attorney's Office, Hudson County Prosecutor's Office
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university in Jersey City and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others, and he's a columnist for TheConservativeVoice.Com, AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. If you wish to sign up for his intelligence reports, write to JimKouriReports@aol.com
.. Kouri's own website is located at http://jimkouri.us