For Immediate Release
Chicago Man Pleads Guilty to Murder-for-Hire
Fort Myers, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Latrel Jackson (26, Chicago, Illinois), aka “Kobe,” today pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit interstate murder-for-hire resulting in death and interstate murder-for-hire resulting in death. Jackson faces a minimum mandatory sentence of life in federal prison. His co-defendant, Marvin Harris, Jr., aka “Mesh,” pleaded guilty to the same charges last week. Both are scheduled to be sentenced in December 2023.
According to the plea agreement and other court documents, in 2019, Harris, Jr. hired two individuals, Jackson and unindicted co-conspirator D.S. (deceased), to travel from the Chicago-area to Fort Myers to commit murder in exchange for $10,000. Harris, Jr.’s motive was to retaliate against individuals who he believed had previously robbed a Fort Myers residence from which he and others associated with him sold drugs. The individuals Harris, Jr. suspected of committing the robbery and shooting belonged to a Fort Myers gang known to law enforcement as “Bucktown.”
Jackson and D.S. traveled to Fort Myers from Chicago aboard a commercial airline on October 28, 2019. Upon arrival, Harris, Jr. picked Jackson and D.S. up from the Southwest Florida International Airport and provided them with firearms to accomplish their task. Initially, Jackson and D.S. stayed at Harris, Jr.’s “trap house” (a residence used primarily to distribute drugs from) in Fort Myers but later moved to a local motel on Palm Beach Boulevard. During that time, Jackson, D.S., and others attempted to find members of Bucktown to murder in the retaliatory scheme.
On November 2, 2019, Harris, Jr. obtained a vehicle for Jackson and D.S. to use during the commission of a murder. Jackson and D.S. proceeded to a known Bucktown hangout in Fort Myers and observed the victim, K.U., standing in front of the home near the curb of the street. Jackson and D.S. quickly circled the block and returned, and at close range opened fire on K.U., killing him in front of the residence with a gunshot wound of the head. The next day, Jackson and D.S. returned to Chicago via bus, while possessing the firearms used to commit the murder.
During a search of Jackson’s Chicago-area home on November 21, 2019, law enforcement recovered two firearms from an attic space of his bedroom. Expert testing and examination of the firearms confirmed that both matched shell casings recovered from the murder scene and the murder vehicle, and that one of the firearms had fired the bullet which had been recovered from K.U.’s head during his autopsy.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Myers Police Department, with the assistance of the Joliet (Illinois) Police Department, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael V. Leeman.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.