MANATEE -- Six people have been charged with being part of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy responsible for dozens of crimes, including nine homicides in Bradenton and Manatee County, according to federal officials.
U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley announced the indictments during a news conference under way at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Among the crimes included in the indictment is a 2013 slaying at the 13 AV Dream Center during which a man was shot to death while youth football teams were practicing.
Nathaniel Harris, Napoleon Harris, Charlie Green, Jerry Green, Corey Harris, Deonte Martin have been indicted for their role in a conspiracy that involved murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery and drug trafficking, according to officials.
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All six are currently in custody.
Charges in the indictment date as far back as 2007 and include the slayings of Joseph Evans, Calvin Barnes, Demetrius Cunningham, Christopher Jenkins and Brenton Coleman Sr.
Three of the suspects, Napoleon Harris, Charlie Green and Corey Harris, were arrested Thursday morning and will appear before a federal judge for their first appearance.
The homicides detailed in the indictment include:
-- The April 8, 2007, slaying of Christopher W. Jenkins, allegedly by Jerry Green.
-- The Sept. 4, 2010, slaying of Joseph Evans, allegedly by Nathaniel Harris and Charlie Green.
-- The Oct. 26, 2010, slaying of Demetrious Cunningham, allegedly by Nathaniel Harris, Napoleon Harris and Charlie Green.
-- The Oct. 26, 2010, slaying of Calvin Barnes, allegedly by Nathaniel Harris, Napoleon Harris and Charlie Green, in order to silence Barnes, a witness to Cunningham's slaying.
-- The Oct. 30, 2011, slaying of someone identified in the indictment as "C.M," allegedly by Nathaniel Harris.
-- The July 3, 2012, slaying of Ceola Lazier, allegedly by Charlie Green and Jerry Green.
-- The April 1, 2013, slaying of Carlos Jurado, allegedly by Napoleon Harris and Jerry Green.
-- The Aug. 1, 2013, slaying of Brenton Coleman, allegedly Napoleon Harris, Charlie Green, Corey Harris and Deonte Martin. Here is the news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Tampa.
United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of a twenty-eight count second superseding indictment charging Nathaniel Harris (23, Bradenton), Napoleon Harris (29, Bradenton), Charlie L. Green (27, Bradenton), Jerry W. Green, Jr. (31, Bradenton), Corey Deonta Harris (23, St. Petersburg), and Deonte Jamal Martin (28, Bradenton) for their roles in a racketeering conspiracy involving murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery, and drug trafficking. Seven of the offenses carry a maximum penalty of death.
A confidential “TIP LINE” has been established for anyone with information regarding any homicides, robberies, narcotics and/or violent criminal acts conducted by these individuals or their associates. Anyone with information relevant to this case is encouraged to call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477).
According to court documents, the six individuals were part of an ongoing criminal enterprise. Between April 2007 and August 2013, nine individuals were shot and killed, as a result of the enterprise’s criminal activity. Among those murdered were Christopher Jenkins, Demetrious Cunningham, Calvin Barnes, Ceola Lazier, Carlos Jurado, Brenton Coleman, Joseph Evans, Rodney D. Lamb, and Erika Williams. The murder of Brenton Coleman took place in the vicinity of the 13th Avenue Recreation Center, commonly referred to as the “Dream Center,” and was witnessed by a crowd of young children attending youth football practice.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the State Attorney’s Office (12th Judicial Circuit Court), the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Bradenton Police Department, the Palmetto Police Department, the Sarasota Police Department, and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Walter E. Furr, III, Christopher F. Murray, and Trial Attorney Laura Gwinn of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.
Story will be updated as more information becomes available.