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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of New York

For Immediate Release

August 27, 2013

William J. Hochul, Jr, United States Attorney

Contact: Barbara Burns
(916) 554-2706

Chain Gang Defendant Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Russell “TJ” Hampton, 23, of Rochester, N.Y., who was convicted following a jury trial of conspiracy to engage in racketeering activity (RICO), which included narcotics trafficking, murder, attempted murder and weapons possession, was sentenced to 30 years in prison and 10 years supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Charles J. Siragusa.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas E. Gregory, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that in 2009, state and federal authorities focused their attention on the “Chain Gang” aka “Wolfpack,” a violent street crew that controlled the streets in the area of Chamberlain and Garson Avenues in Rochester. The federal indictment charged 19 gang members with conspiring to use their membership in the Chain Gang to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity that included multiple acts of drug trafficking, the 2007 murder of Carmella Rogers and the attempted murder of several rival gang members.

In July 2011, Hampton was convicted along with Dearick Smith and Michael Jackson after a five week jury trial. In July 2013, Dearick Smith was sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in the offense. All remaining defendants have been convicted.

“Today’s sentencing is an example of the severe punishment that awaits all gang members who engage in violence and drug trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “The streets of our community are no place for such destructive actions and our Office will continue to prosecute any individual or group of individuals who engage in such illicit behavior.”

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Scott Heagney, along with officers and investigators with the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Sheppard.