For Immediate Release
Chad Brown Gang Leaders Sentenced to Federal Prison
PROVIDENCE, RI – Four Chad Brown gang members who participated in a racketeering enterprise that targeted rival gang members with gun violence as part of what federal court filings described as “a vigilante justice system imposed and administered by themselves,” were sentenced today to federal prison, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha.
Delacey Andrade, 28, was sentenced to eleven years of incarceration; Kendrick Johnson 31, was sentenced to six years imprisonment; Keishon Johnson, 32, was sentenced to twelve years in prison; and Montrel Johnson, 26, was sentenced to seven years in prison.
The four men pleaded guilty on March 1, 2022, to participating in the activities of a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO).
According to court documents, the defendants “anointed themselves guardians of the neighborhood...and reserved the use of force to themselves to extract revenge on perceived enemies. In doing so, they reigned terror on innocent bystanders through a cycle of violence with no purpose.”
“Under the pretense of dispensing justice, these defendants inflicted terror and violence on the people of Providence to serve the ends of their criminal enterprise,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Cunha. “Today, they faced the actual justice that their conduct richly deserves, and our community is safer for it. This prosecution tackled violence that has stemmed from generations of feuding between rival gangs in the city of Providence.”
“This case is an example of how this Office, working with our partners in law enforcement over the past several years, has focused its resources to target those who are driving violent crime,” said Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha. “Thanks to this investigation and prosecution, some of the worst perpetrators of violent crime in Providence will now find themselves behind bars – and for a significant period of time. I am particularly grateful for our partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office and the strong work by federal law enforcement and the Providence Police Department in this case.”
“I praise the Investigators of the Providence Police Department and our Law Enforcement partners, including the US Attorney’s Office, for their tireless work in carrying this case to justice,” said Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr. “These are the types of coordinated efforts that keep communities safe from ongoing and future senseless gun violence.”
“ATF is committed to the removal of violent repeat offenders who victimize and threaten the safety of our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge James M. Ferguson of the ATF Boston Field Division “Today’s sentencing should send a strong message to those who commit violent crimes that you will be held accountable and brought to justice.”
According to charging documents and information presented to the court, members and associates of the Chad Brown gang perpetrated frequent acts of violence against rival East Side gang members dating back to 2013; those acts included drive-by shootings and illegal drug sales. An escalation of hostilities began in 2013 when a Chad Brown member, Jose “Hova” Sanchez, was shot to death on June 22, 2013. In retaliation, two East Side members Ryan “Moondo” Almeida, and Nelson “Vamp” Sanchez, were shot to death in a thirty-day period beginning on Christmas Eve Day in 2013. While the defendants in this case were not charged in federal court with those killings, they mark the beginning of the time-period charged in the RICO count and provide context for the specific racketeering acts committed by the defendants.
The RICO charge focused on four shootings in 2016 and 2017.Each of the defendants was charged with involvement in one or more of these shootings. Specifically, the charges and supporting evidence were as follows:
- Delacey Andrade, Montrel Johnson and Keishon Johnson were charged with the attempted murder of an East Side gang member on October 22, 2016, in a drive-by shooting. The shooting occurred after Montrel Johnson and the East Side gang member had a confrontation inside the Walmart on Silver Spring Street in Providence. Andrade, Keishon Johnson and Montrel Johnson were in a gold Nissan Maxima that fired multiple gunshots into the victim’s car, hitting the victim three times and causing life threatening injuries. The shooting occurred on the two-year anniversary of a Chad Brown gang member’s shooting death, and shortly after the murder trial of the East Side gang members charged with his killing.
- Later in the evening of October 22, 2016, Andrade and Keishon Johnson were in the same gold Nissan Maxima on Appian Street in Providence when they fired multiple gunshots into a vehicle driven by a woman they mistakenly identified as East Side rivals. Earlier that week, Kendrick Johnson had sent Andrade a text to be on the lookout for a similar vehicle containing East Side members who had driven through Chad Brown.
- On June 19, 2017, Andrade and Kendrick Johnson were involved in a gun battle with East Side gang members outside the Tomato City Pizza restaurant on Douglas Avenue in Providence. East Side gang members shot at the residence of Montrel Johnson in Chad Brown earlier that day; Keishon Johnson sent a text identifying the shooter’s vehicle to Andrade. Andrade and Kendrick Johnson then encountered the vehicle outside Tomato City and both sides exchanged gunfire. Andrade and Kendrick Johnson crashed their vehicle and fled the scene. Andrade’s DNA on the gun found at the scene and Kendrick Johnson’s DNA on the steering wheel of the vehicle.
- On August 19, 2017, Keishon Johnson and two other Chad Brown members were arrested by Providence Police following a drive-by shooting on Hendrick Street in Providence. Expelled shell casings found at the scene as well as two firearms later recovered were ballistically matched. Subsequent investigation established that one of the two firearms, a .40 caliber silver Beretta handgun, was used in the three of the four shootings underlying the RICO count (Walmart, Appian and Hendrick).
In addition, the evidence established that Kendrick Johnson and Andrade engaged in illegal drug and liquor sales, including distributing cocaine and marijuana. The investigation also established Keishon Johnson’s role in a marijuana distribution conspiracy involving Chad Brown members.
This prosecution arose from a Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), Providence Police and Alcohol, Tobacco, Explosives and Firearms (ATF) investigation. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
The case was prosecuted jointly in federal court by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul F. Daly, Jr., and John P. McAdams, and Special Assistant United States Attorney James Baum of the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office. The sentences were imposed by U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr.
United States Attorney Cunha recognizes and thanks the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the member agencies of the ATF Task Force; the Providence, Pawtucket and North Providence Police Departments; the Rhode Island State Police; the Rhode Island Department of Corrections; and the United States Marshals Service for their close collaboration, support, and ongoing efforts in the investigation and prosecution of this case.