A Knightdale man was sentenced today to three consecutive life sentences plus 240 months in prison for Conspiracy to Participate in a Pattern of Racketeering (RICO conspiracy), Murder in Aid of Racketeering, Murder with a Firearm During and in Relation to a crime of Violence, and Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances.
According to court documents and evidence presented during the trial, Brandon Jowan Mangum, 31, was a high-ranking member of the Black Mob Gangstas (BMG) and Donald Gee Family (DFG) organization led by Demetrice R. Devine. Devine also led the Gangsta Killer Bloods (GKB). The BMG/DGF are sets of the “Bloods” gang whose members committed various crimes in the city of Raleigh and especially in the area of Haywood Street. BMG/DGF members committed acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline, both within the gang and against non-gang members. Members committed acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, and assaults, in order to maintain their positions within the gang and to be promoted within the leadership structure of the gang.
BMG/DGF, including its leadership, members and associates, constituted an “enterprise” as defined by Title 18, United States Code, Section 1961(4), that is, a group of individuals’ associated-in-fact. The enterprise constituted an ongoing organization, whose members functioned as a continuing unit for a common purpose of achieving the objectives of the enterprise. The enterprise was engaged in, and its activities affected, interstate and foreign commerce. The purpose of the BMG/DGF enterprise included the following: a. Preserving and protecting the power, territory, reputation, respect, and profits of the enterprise through the use of intimidation, violence, threats of violence, assaults, murder and attempted murder; b. Promoting and enhancing the enterprise and its members’ and associates’ activities, including, but not limited to, murders, attempted murders, robberies, drug distribution and other criminal activities; c. Keeping the community and rivals in fear of the enterprise and its members and associates through violence and threats of violence; d. Providing financial support and information to gang members, including those incarcerated in the United States; e. Providing assistance to other gang members who committed crimes for and on behalf of the gang; and, f. Hindering, obstructing, and preventing law enforcement officers from identifying, apprehending, and successfully prosecuting and punishing members of the enterprise.
BMG/DGF also held gang meetings to communicate gang information, to recruit members, issue punishment and collect gang dues from each BMG/DGF member for the benefit of the BMG/DGF organization. A portion of the dues were saved and utilized locally in what was referred to as a “community rent box” (CRB) while another portion was sent up the chain of command to gang leadership in Virginia and New York. BMG/DGF members were permitted to earn their money for dues through various methods, including, but not limited to, robberies, fraud schemes, and drug distribution. The monies were used locally for loans to gang members, for drug purchases, for firearm purchases, for gifts, and cellular telephones for high-ranking members who were in jail. Devine ordered that individuals selling narcotics in and around Haywood Street who were not BMG/DGF members were also required to pay gang dues in order to continue their drug sales in territory controlled by BMG/DGF. Individuals who did not pay gang dues risked being robbed, assaulted, or murdered. Mangum along with other gang members conspired to shoot an 18-year-old rival gang member, Rodriguez Burrell, because Burrell refused to pay money to BMG/DGF. Burrell was shot multiple times in the presence of his father and died of his wounds. In his leadership position, Devine directed members of his gang to shoot a 16-year-old rival gang member, Adarius Fowler, who died from gunshot wounds. He also ordered a gang member to shoot a person who provided information to law enforcement regarding the murder of Fowler. While this person was recovering from those gunshot injuries in the hospital, Devine ordered that the person be killed. Devine presided over a “beat-in” gang initiation of a BMG/DGF gang member and personally assaulted another gang member whose loyalty he questioned. Devine conspired with other gang members to silence and threaten gang members that had been provided subpoenas to testify in a federal proceeding.
Devine and Mangum both sold drugs on behalf of BMG/ DGF. Specifically, the jury found Mangum guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and marijuana.
Devine was sentenced on April 22, 2020 to four consecutive life sentences, followed by 240 months imprisonment.
Mr. Higdon commented: “Today, finally, justice was served for Rodriguez Burrell and his family. Today, one of his murderers was sentenced to multiple life terms in prison. Brandon Mangum and the gang members he led, literally executed Mr. Burrell in cold blood on the front porch of his father’s house because he dared to refuse to follow the rules of the Bloods gang which controlled and terrorized his neighborhood. I want to thank and commend the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Raleigh Police Department because, as the Court pointed out, they have diligently and faithfully worked for ‘11 years and 11 days’ to bring Rodriguez Burrell’s murders to justice and to end the ‘decades of terror’ the Bloods brought to areas of southeast Raleigh. As the court pointed out, the ‘relentless pursuit of justice’ by these investigators has demonstrated just how much Rodriguez Burrell’s life mattered and the lengths our law enforcement will go to bring justice to him, his family, and to the ‘good and true people who live in that Raleigh community.’”
“Brandon Mangum will have the rest of his life to think about the damage he and his conspirators caused to innocent citizens of Raleigh. Today's sentence is another example of law enforcement partners working together to effectively hold criminals accountable," said John Strong, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina. The prosecution of Devine and Mangum was a part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation (OCDETF) targeting violent gang members and drug traffickers in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Raleigh Police Department led the investigation with assistance from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Wake County Sheriff’s Office, Raleigh/ Wake City-County Bureau of Identification, United States Marshal’s Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Assistant United States Attorneys Dena King and Scott Lemmon prosecuted this case with Christina Taylor with the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.