22 Flint area men charged, suspected in south side gang - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

22 Flint area men charged, suspected in south side gang

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(05/03/12) - 22 Flint area men face charges following a massive, multi-year investigation focusing on Flint's south side.

State and federal charges were issued.

They were announced Thursday.

Read the indictment, unsealed Thursday afternoon, HERE.

All 22 men, 12 indicted and 10 charged by the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office, are alleged to be members or associates of a dangerous gang dubbed the "Howard Boys."

The criminal enterprise called the "Howard Boys" because, according to the indictment, they operated in and around the Howard Estates public housing complex on Lapeer Road, just west of Dort Highway.

Investigators allege they terrorized the south side since 2002.

The charges are the result of a multi-year investigation by the Genesee County Safe Streets Task Force.

It's not clear how many men are in custody now.

ABC12 has learned some were taken into custody Thursday morning following searches and raids in Genesee County.

Federal charges include racketeering conspiracy, murder as well as various charges connected to drugs, distribution of cocaine for example, and guns.

"We are hopeful that this prosecution will restore safety and security in the neighborhood where this gang operated," said United States Attorney Barbara McQuade.

"We also want criminals to know that if they commit crimes with guns in Flint, they will be prosecuted federally, where the sentences are long and there is no parole."

State Charges, issued by the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office, are tied to murder, drugs and guns as well.

"We in law enforcement will not concede to the criminal element in our never-ending pursuit of safety and security for our citizens," said Prosecutor David Leyton.

"Working together, local, state and federal authorities can make significant progress in the fight against crime.  The next step is for prosecutors to hold these individuals accountable in a court of law."

One of the cases involves the July 2004 murder of 33-year-old Jonathon Parker.

Police then said he was shot several times while riding his bike near Lippincott and Crocker, in Flint, and then shot again while he was on the ground.

Parker's friend, who still lives nearby the crime scene and who did not want to be identified, says he has heard talk about what led to his murder back then.

"You know how it is in the neighborhood. If you're involved in certain things, you know that's how things are," he said.

The task force working on the investigation includes special agents from the FBI, Flint Police officers, state police troopers and deputies from the Genesee County Sheriff's Department.

Special agents from the ATF and DEA as well as members of the Flint Area Narcotics Group or FANG also assisted.

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