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Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Office of Public Affairs Direct Line
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Three Gang Members Convicted of Murder Plot

NORFOLK, Va. — A federal jury in Norfolk convicted three men yesterday of conspiracy to commit murder and other crimes.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Ronald Jenkins, 42, of Franklin; Japree Brooks, 40, of Murfreesboro, North Carolina; and Malik Newsome, 30, of Ivor, participated in three shootings in 2017 and 2019 in Franklin. All three men were members or associates of a Blood-affiliated gang that operated in Franklin. The gang engaged primarily in narcotics trafficking, as well as some robberies and beatings to protect their territory. When a high-ranking member of their gang was murdered by a rival Crip-affiliated gang, the gang hunted down and shot several members of the Crip-affiliated gang.

All three defendants were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering; Brooks and Jenkins were convicted of attempted murder in aid of racketeering; Brooks was convicted of discharge, carry and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; Jenkins was convicted of being a felon in possession of ammunition; and Brooks and Newsome were each convicted of witness tampering. Jenkins faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16, 2024. Brooks faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18, 2024. Newsome faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 23, 2024. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Craig Kailimai of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Derek W. Gordon of Homeland Security Investigations, Chief Steve Patterson of the Franklin Police Department and Southampton County Sheriff Josh Wyche Sr. made the announcement.

The ATF, HSI, the Franklin Police Department and the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Christopher Taylor of the Criminal Division’s Violent Crime and Racketeering Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Taylor for the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case, with significant assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office legal intern Madison Albrecht.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at


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