A federal trial involving six men charged with nine murders, drug trafficking and dozens of other crimes in Manatee County begins Monday.
Two years after the men were indicted on an extensive list of crimes, including racketeering conspiracy; homicides; drug trafficking in heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone and MDMA, also known as ecstasy; kidnapping; and robberies, the suspects will face their day in court.
Jury selections begin Monday in the U.S. District Court in Tampa and are expected to take a few days.
The six defendants:
▪ Charlie “Mr. 30N32” Green
▪ Jerry “Jerk” Green
▪ Corey “James” Harris
▪ Napoleon “Pole” Harris
▪ Nathaniel “Popo” Harris
▪ Deonte “Tang” Martin.
All suspects face mandatory life sentences or the possibility of death sentences if convicted. The trial is expected to run through August.
Among the questions potential jurors may be expected to answer during selection, will be related to the familial relationship among some defendants.
“Do you believe that, by virtue of a familial link alone, it is more likely that a defendant was aware of the activities of co-defendants with whom he shares a family bond?” court records state.
Jurors may also be asked if they will be biased to the testimony of the defendant’s family and friends, should they be called to testify, in comparison with other witnesses.
“Rap” and “gangsta rap” may be mentioned during the trial, according to voir dire requested questions. As a result, jurors may be questioned regarding their feeling about the music genres and whether they are a fan.
“Or do you, like many, harbor strong feelings against its occasional glorification of drugs, violence and misogyny?” court documents state may be a question.
Questions could go as far as asking jurors if they believe fans of “rap” or “gangsta rap,” as well as rappers themselves, endorse the criminal activity that is occasionally the subject matter of this music?” the document states.
All six defendants were charged under The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. The indictment outlines how the six men are charged with leading or working with a criminal enterprise whose purpose was to make money through illegal activities.
Nathaniel Harris, Napolean Harris and Charlie Green were leaders of the criminal enterprise while Jerry Green, Corey Harris and Deonte Martin were identified as members of the organized group, according to the indictment.
The organized crime ring resorted to murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion and drug trafficking as a means to make money, according to the indictment.
Criminal conspiracy charges included giving drugs on consignment to convicts recently released from prison; threatening people from reporting criminal activity to law enforcement, provide or sell guns and ammunition to convicted felons; murder for hire or to protect the organization; carried business cards promoting their drug business, used violence to collect as well as avoid paying debts and communicated through code.
Members of the crime ring were also public about their drug dealing and the murders they committed through “interviews, songs and musical performances,” according to the indictment. Videos posted online and social media posts were also used by the ring to promote their activities.
The crime ring also reportedly used other associates to manufacture and package drugs, sell and deliver drugs, collect money from drug deals, hold money and drugs, provide weapons, serve as straw purchases, beat people, answer phones and produce, publish and distribute promotional videos and interviews.
The group’s activities went outside Manatee County as far as Orlando, Tampa and Brandon.
The indictment also details how investigators believe the nine murders occurred.
April 8, 2007: Christopher Jenkins, 25, was shot dead by Jerry Green after the two fought at Club Nitros in Palmetto, investigators have said. Green was initially charged by local law enforcement, but prosecutors were forced to drop the charges when a key witness refused to testify.
Sept. 2. 2008: Rodney D. “Hot Rod” Lamb and Erika Williams were shot and killed by Jerry Green. Although Green is not charged separately with these two murders, they are listed as committed under the RICO charge.
Sept. 4, 2010: Joseph X. Evans, 18, was reportedly shot dead through the window of a home where he was playing with his daughter when Nathaniel Harris and Charlie Green mistook him for Demetrius “Meat” Cunningham.
Oct. 26, 2010: Calvin “Forty” Barnes, 16, was kidnapped by Nathaniel Harris, Napoleon Harris and Charlie Green in order to lure Cunningham from his apartment. Cunningham was then shot dead. Because he witnessed the murder, Barnes was also shot dead. Nathaniel Harris collected the money for the contracted hit.
July 3, 2012: Ceola D. “Bo” Lazier, 31, was ambushed and shot dead by Charlie Green and Jerry Green, according to investigators.
April 1, 2013: Carlos Alberto “Giggles” Jurado, 26, was reportedly asked to deliver one kilogram of cocaine to Napoleon Harris and Jerry Green. When he arrived, he was shot dead and the drugs taken, the indictment said.
Aug. 1, 2013: Brenton Coleman Sr., 39, was shot dead by Corey Harris and Deonte Martin in the parking lot outside the 13th AV Dream Center following a youth football practice, investigators said. Coleman’s murder was reportedly revenge for an earlier drive-by shooting of Napoleon Harris’ vehicle.