12 charged for alleged drug and street gang activity in the Vall - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

12 charged for alleged drug and street gang activity in the Valley

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BOARDMAN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -

Local and federal authorities announced the break-up of a gang allegedly involved in drug activity and violence in the Valley.

During a press conference held Tuesday at the offices of the Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force, authorities displayed a grenade launcher and other firearms confiscated during it's investigation into what they call the E-Block gang.

Last week, the Mahoning County grand jury returned a 20-count indictment charging 11 people for their participation in the Youngstown-area criminal street gang. One additional person was charged through the Mahoning County Juvenile Court for participation in the criminal street gang.

Investigators say the E-Block gang was involved in street level drug trafficking and acts of violence in and around the West side of Youngstown.

In 2013, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force began investigating members of this group because of neighborhood tips detailing their ongoing criminal activity and because the group has been a known catalyst for violence in Youngstown.

“The individuals indicted last week and arrested this morning are charged with serious offenses representing their willingness to engage in violent acts putting our community at risk,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Northern District of Ohio Office. “As evidenced by this continuing investigation, the FBI will work with our law enforcement partners to target and eliminate the most significant threats to our communities to include violent gang activity.”

The county indictments charged the 12 people with various offenses, including trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in controlled substances, felonious assault, aggravated riot, and participating in a criminal gang. Charged individuals include:

  • Tawaun Gordon
  • Tyrone Gordon
  • Laytion Sheppard
  • Daniel Bell
  • Devin Bell
  • Jevon Fitzgerald
  • Kyree Grabe
  • Roderick Wilson
  • Keith Tillis, Jr.
  • Phillip Lemon
  • Laytion Lenoir
  • Derrick Franklin

“The investigation of these violent groups and their subsequent arrests are only possible because of the tremendous cooperation between local, state, and federal law enforcement,” said Chief Robin Lees, Youngstown Police Department. “This is one of many efforts by area law enforcement to proactively reduce violence in our community.”

Stay connected with wfmj.com and 21 News for the latest on this developing story.


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