A federal indictment was unsealed yesterday charging 18 alleged members of the Simon City Royals gang with a racketeering conspiracy involving murder, attempted murder, narcotics trafficking, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, wire fraud, and money laundering.
Originally from Chicago, the Simon City Royals were formed in the 1950s and are now one of Mississippi’s fastest-growing gangs.
The indictment charges Allen Posey, 47; Jonathan Davis, 38; Jeremy Holcombe, 42; Jonathan Burnett, 38; Hank Chapman, 37; Jason Hayden, 41; Joshua Miller, 40; Gavin Pierson, 32; Justin Shaw, 35; Bobby Brumfield, 42; Jordan Deakles, 30; Bryce Frances, 42; Anthony Murphy, 29; Chancey Bilbo, 30; Dillon Heffker, 31; Douglas Jones, 33; Cody Woodall, 30; and Michael Muscolino, 42, with racketeering conspiracy. The indictment also charges those individuals and Valerie Madden, 53; Samuel Conwill, 43; and Jason Collins, 38, with narcotics conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Nine of the defendants – Shaw, Posey, Brumfield, Jones, Pierson, Deakles, Davis, Frances, Heffker and Murphy – are additionally charged with murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, or assault in aid of racketeering.
“The Criminal Division is committed to dismantling gangs, like the Simon City Royals, that use violence and intimidation to damage our communities and interfere with our justice system,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This indictment demonstrates that the Department of Justice is dedicated to protecting people victimized by these gangs and holding the alleged offenders accountable.”
“This case is an example of ATF’s dedication and commitment to combating violent crime in our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) New Orleans Field Division. “ATF is proud to work with our law enforcement partners to bring violent criminals to justice and to help make our neighborhoods safer.”
According to the indictment, the Simon City Royals are a national criminal gang whose dealings include extortion, narcotics, identity theft, money laundering, and violent crime. The gang has a formalized hierarchy involving numerous “boards” and “teams,” including a team dedicated to carrying out violent gang punishments, and a “money team” responsible for earning revenue through fraud, illegal gambling, and identity theft.
According to the indictment, the defendants murdered or attempted to murder numerous individuals, including a suspected law-enforcement cooperator, a rival gang leader, and individuals perceived to have shown disrespect to the gang. The defendants employed various methods to conceal their activities and finances, including communicating via encrypted messages and filing articles of incorporation to establish a fraudulent nonprofit organization with the State of Mississippi.
If convicted, the defendants face penalties ranging from 10 years and life for narcotics conspiracy; up to 20 years for money laundering conspiracy; 20 years to life imprisonment for the racketeering conspiracy; up to 10 years in prison for attempted murder in aid of racketeering; and up to 20 years for assault in aid of racketeering; and a mandatory life in prison sentence for murder in aid of racketeering. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The defendants were arrested on March 3 and were scheduled to make their initial court appearances Friday at 2 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy Percy of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Marshals Service; the U.S. Secret Service; the FBI’s Jackson Field Office; the Mississippi Department of Corrections; and local law enforcement agencies across multiple states are investigating the case. The Tupelo Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Benton County Sheriff’s Department, and Tippah County Sheriff’s Department provided valuable assistance.
Trial Attorneys Brendan Woods, Christopher Taylor, and Conor Mulroe of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Stringfellow for the Northern District of Mississippi are prosecuting the case.