Two plead not guilty to gang-related charges in Trumbull County - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Two plead not guilty to gang-related charges in Trumbull County

Updated:

NILES, Ohio - The Niles community is hoping to move forward after a trio is indicted on charges related to possible gang activity.

Each faced a laundry list of charges related to participation in a criminal gang; the first time the charge has ever been filed against anyone in Trumbull County.

Both Jamaz Protho, 18, and Daniel Uncapher, 20, plead not guilty to multiple counts in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday. The third suspect, Douglas McGuire, 18, remains free on bond.

The three are accused of being part of a gang known to many in town as the Savages. The group is accused of one or more offenses including aggravated robbery, kidnapping, felonious assault, drug trafficking and vandalism, among other incidents.

"Police departments been taking a very proactive role in chasing down these so-called gangs," said Niles Mayor Ralph Infante. "Our concern is the paraphernalia that they're spray painting on signs and on city properties, people's homes, garages and businesses."

Owners of the Joseph Rossi & Sons Funeral Home say they're still working to remove tags on their business.

"You take pride in what you do, you take pride in your city and the business," said Tom Rossi, funeral home co-owner. "It just kind of hits you right in the pit of your stomach."

While Rossi says he's puzzled why someone would damage another's property, he's not surprised that it's happening in his hometown.

"I think over time just a lot of transient people that are coming in. They don't have pride," Rossi said.

Both Protho and Uncapher remain jailed and are set to appear before a judge again next week.

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