For Immediate Release
Thirteen Involved in Rival Mill Creek Drug Distribution Organizations Indicted
Acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen announced today the indictment of thirteen individuals on charges including murder, drug trafficking, and unlawful possession and use of firearms.
For several years two drug distribution groups operated within the Mill Creek neighborhood of West Philadelphia to sell crack cocaine in and around two playgrounds. One organization sold crack in a playground, commonly referred to as "the Grounds," located near to the intersection of 52nd Street and Westminster Avenue. The second organization sold crack in a playground, commonly referred to as "the Pit," located near to the intersection of 51st Street and Reno Street. These two areas are within close proximity to each other (merely a few blocks away) and are separated by a baseball field on Westminster Avenue, the lower boundary of "the Grounds." "The Grounds" organization involved Robert Mack, a/k/a "Tweet," Kenneth Riley, a/k/a "Kenny," James Wilson, a/k/a "JT," Clayton Roberts, a/k/a "Water," Mark Samuel, Xavier Towel, a/k/a "Zay," Sir Robert Keen, a/k/a "Brock," and others. "The Pit" organization involved, Sean Gilliam, a/k/a "Shizzy-Ones," Bryant Calloway, a/k/a "Bigs," Sean Wilson, a/k/a "Lil Shizz," Tonie Henderson, a/k/a "Tone," Tyree Johnson, a/k/a "Riq," and others.
In the summer of 2013, Bryant Calloway, a convicted felon and member of "the Pit" organization, attempted to overtake a portion of the crack sales that were occurring in "the Grounds" area. In furtherance of that effort on August 5, 2013, Bryant Calloway, and others, entered into "the Grounds" and shot and killed Brian Littles, a/k/a "BL," who at the time was selling crack for "the Grounds" organization. Calloway killed Littles in order to attempt to expand the drug distribution area of his organization.
In response to the murder of Littles, members of "the Grounds" organization conspired to shoot Calloway. On November 22, 2013, James Wilson, a convicted felon and member of "the Grounds’" organization, shot Calloway approximately 10 times. Calloway survived the murder attempt. Within 24 hours of the shooting of Calloway, Sean Wilson, a convicted felon and member of "the Pit" organization, fired multiple shots from a firearm down a residential street near to "the Grounds." "D.F.", an innocent bystander who happened to be present in the area was shot and injured.
Three indictments were unsealed today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Seven members of "the Grounds" organization were charged in a 16 count indictment. That indictment charges, among other offenses, a multi-year long crack distribution conspiracy, the shooting of Bryant Calloway, possession, use and discharge of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, felon in possession of a firearm, and multiple counts of crack distribution and distribution of crack within a protected zone.
Five members of "the Pit" organization were charged in a 31 count indictment. That indictment charges, among other offenses, a multi-year long crack distribution conspiracy, the murder of Brian Littles, the shooting of D.F., possession, use and discharge of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, felon in possession of a firearm, and multiple counts of crack distribution and distribution of crack within a protected zone.
Also, a two count indictment was filed against Marcus Royster who, during the ATF investigation, sold over 28 grams of crack cocaine to a confidential informant within a protected zone.
"The alleged acts of those charged here illustrate the threat to our communities posed by the violent crime that goes hand in hand with drug distribution," said Acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen. "The violence knows no boundaries, nor does it respect protected zones, like community playgrounds, that should be safe spaces. Through the cooperation between federal and local officials in cases like this, we remain committed to significant prosecutions that will make our communities safer."
"The ATF is committed to working with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to target violent drug trafficking organizations that are responsible for drug trafficking and related gun violence in our communities," said Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Cekada. "These indictments are a perfect example of the collaborative effort between the ATF and the Philadelphia Police Department to target violent offenders."
"This investigation, along with the resultant arrests, is a fine example of great collaborative effort among law enforcement agencies," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, Jr. "We appreciate all of our law enforcement partners in our collective effort to keep our city safe."
If convicted the defendants face lengthy terms of imprisonment. Bryant Calloway, Kenneth Riley, and James Wilson, each face a mandatory minimum term of 30 years imprisonment and a maximum of life. Sean Gilliam and Robert Mack each face a mandatory minimum term of 25 years imprisonment and a maximum of life. Sean Wilson, Tyree Johnson, Clayton Roberts, Xavier Towel, Sir Robert Keen, and Marcus Royster each face a mandatory minimum term of 20 years imprisonment and a maximum of life. Tonie Henderson and Mark Samuel each face a mandatory minimum term of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum of life. Each defendant also faces multiple years of post-release supervision, potential fines and special assessments.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, with the assistance of the Philadelphia Police Department, investigated the case. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Ortiz and Seth Schlessinger.