For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 8, 2016
, United States Attorney
A. Lee Bentley, III
Contact: William Daniels
Six Florida Drug Enterprise Members Convicted for Roles in Racketeering and Drug Conspiracies, Several Murders and Related Offenses
Tampa Field Division
Tampa, FL – After 12 weeks of trial, six defendants have been convicted for their roles in wide-ranging racketeering and drug distribution conspiracies that involved seven murders, firearms offenses and related criminal conduct.
U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III of the Middle District of Florida, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Tampa, Florida, made the announcement.
Nathaniel Harris, 25, aka Popo; Napoleon Harris, 32, aka Pole; Charlie Green, 29, aka Mr. 30N32; Jerry Green, 30, aka Jerk; Corey Harris, 26, aka James; and Deonte Martin, 31, aka Tang, all of Bradenton and St. Petersburg, Florida, were each convicted today of one count of drug distribution conspiracy. Nathaniel Harris, Napoleon Harris, Charlie Green, Jerry Green and Martin were each convicted of one count of racketeering conspiracy. In addition, Nathaniel Harris was convicted of two counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder, armed kidnapping, maintaining a house used for drug distribution, use of a firearm in furtherance of maintaining a drug house, possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and cocaine, use of a firearm in furtherance of drug crimes, felon in possession of ammunition and felon in possession of firearms and ammunition; Charlie Green was convicted of three counts of murder; Jerry Green was convicted of two counts of murder; Napoleon Harris was convicted of one count of murder and one count of felon in possession of ammunition; and Martin was convicted of one count each of murder, possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and felon in possession of a firearm. Corey Harris pleaded guilty during trial to three counts of distribution of crack cocaine.
According to evidence presented at trial, the defendants were members of a racketeering enterprise that controlled illicit drug distribution and committed murders for hire in and around Bradenton, a small community in Manatee County, Florida. From about 2006 through 2014, evidence showed that the defendants were responsible for murdering seven individuals who had crossed members of the enterprise in some fashion or whom members had been hired to murder. One of the murder victims was gunned down at a community center in front of hundreds of children and their parents. Evidence presented at trial also demonstrated that the racketeering enterprise attempted to murder an eighth individual who survived but is now paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
“Today, first and foremost, our thoughts are with the families of the victims murdered by these defendants. We are thankful that they have finally received the justice they deserve. These six individuals were part of a ruthless criminal enterprise that, for too long, preyed on the community by committing seven murders and countless other acts of violence. These men engaged in an escalating gang war, culminating with the public execution of Brenton Coleman during the first day of pee wee football in Bradenton,” stated U.S. Attorney Bentley. “We are grateful for the many community members who bravely came forward and testified, despite a systematic effort at witness intimidation. Today’s verdicts demonstrate the Department of Justice’s commitment to combating gang violence and drug trafficking. Working in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement, we will continue to prosecute gang members and work to make our neighborhoods safer.”
Evidence presented at trial showed that the defendants’ enterprise maintained a number of so-called “trap houses” that were used to distribute cocaine, cocaine base, MDMA, oxycodone and marijuana, and used extreme violence to collect drug debts and enforce its control of the drug trafficking in its territory. The enterprise also used threats of violence to prevent members of the community from testifying against enterprise members.
Twelve enterprise members and co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, firearms and other offenses in connection with this case.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Florida investigated the case, with assistance from other federal and state and local law enforcement agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Murray, Natalie Adams and Walter “Terry” Furr of the Middle District of Florida, and Trial Attorney Marty Woelfle of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section are prosecuting the case.