Fifteen members of North Philly’s violent TNT gang have been arrested and charged with murder, gun violations, aggravated assault and conspiracy, for their roles in ongoing feuds and gun battles with rival gangs, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said Thursday.
After a lengthy investigation conducted by the Gun Violence Task Force – a joint effort by the DA’s office and the Office of the Attorney General – authorities were able to net 15 suspects who Williams said had terrorized the people of North Philly between February and June of 2014.
Members of the group who identified themselves as “TNT,” which stands for the Tenth and Thompson (streets) gang, allegedly began a violent feud with another rival organization by the name of “Dirty Block,” over turf, money, drugs and guns. Investigators were able to identify these members through their social media accounts, tattoos and clothing.
Between February and June of 2014, nine shootouts occurred that resulted in the seizures of 10 illegal firearms. Williams said just about every gang member had a gang-affiliated tattoo on his body, and many sent out Tweets and other social media notifications that reportedly incriminated themselves. In one case, a defendant wrote on Twitter, “We both was down homicide we ain’t say a word! #NoTelling #Militant.”
“Ultimately, there were 13 acts of violence,” said Williams.
“These acts and this gang were just ruthless. Their callousness – they would joke – ‘we had a party last night,’ in reference to having shot someone. If someone passed ‘the test,’ it meant they shot someone at least six times.”
Curshawn Banks, 27, and Evette Brooks, 35, were charged with murder and criminal conspiracy. Rashad Holcomb, 28, is charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, possession of a prohibited firearm, carrying a firearm without license and possession of an instrument of crime. Maurice Muldrow, 27, is charged with attempted murder, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, carrying a firearm without a license and possession of an instrument of crime. Christopher McClutchen, 23, and Hamin Williams, Jr., are charged with criminal conspiracy, possession of a prohibited firearm and carrying a firearm without a license, and those charged with criminal conspiracy are as follows: Samir Akines, 32, Amir Crippen, 22, Kareem Grant, 26, Rashad Hall, 21, Vincent McClenney, 28, Gregory Nash, 28, Tyreese Scott, 29, Ali Williams, 27 and Hamin Williams, Sr., 38.
“This is a historic case and something we’ve never tried before here at the district attorney’s office,” said Williams.
“It’s something where we created community-based prosecution, where our DA’s are assigned geographically now. That’s allowed us to work in better cooperation and collaboration with the police, because they’re assigned geographically, by district, and in six divisions across the city.”
All 15 defendants were in custody Thursday and will soon appear in court for their preliminary hearings.