FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Superseding Indictment Filed Charging Nine Members of North Philadelphia Drug Trafficking Organization
PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced that a superseding indictment was unsealed today, charging nine members of a drug trafficking organization with multiple counts related to the distribution of large quantities of drugs in North Philadelphia, including cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, and heroin.
The following individuals, all of Philadelphia, have been charged:
Abdul West, a/k/a “Assault Rifle Ab,” “AR-Ab,” “El Patron,” “the Goon,”
Jamaal Blanding, a/k/a “Bionickhaz,” “Khaz,” “Deangelo Smith,”
Jameel Hickson, a/k/a “Meliano,” “OG,”
Richard Chase Hoover, a/k/a “Boog,”
Dontez Stewart, a/k/a “Taz,”
Amir Boyer, a/k/a “Mulla,”
Daryl Baker, a/k/a “Shotti,”
Hans Gadson, a/k/a “NoBrakes Bras,” and
The superseding indictment charges a conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, 280 grams or more of crack, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and 100 grams or more of heroin. The superseding indictment also includes individual charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, crack, and heroin; distribution of methamphetamine; and a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.
According to the superseding indictment, West is the leader of a local gang, and each of the defendants is a member or associate of the gang. From at least March 2017 through June 2018, the superseding indictment alleges that these defendants have operated their drug trafficking network in the area around North Sydenham Street in Philadelphia, bringing in drugs from California and elsewhere to distribute locally, and obtaining high-end rental properties in Philadelphia through false identities to prevent detection and protect their drug supply. On September 11, 2017, the Philadelphia Police Department executed a search warrant at a house owned by West on North Sydenham Street, recovering 62 grams of crack, 229 grams of heroin, and 48 grams of methamphetamine, as well as $8,000 in cash and a handgun. On May 17, 2018, the FBI executed a search warrant at an apartment complex on Christopher Columbus Boulevard, recovering approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine and nearly 6 pounds of methamphetamine, along with $20,000 in cash.
“The charges alleged in the superseding indictment are extremely serious, and if convicted, these defendants are facing major jail time,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “The investigation and prosecution of drug trafficking organizations remains a high priority of this Office and the Department of Justice. We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our streets safe and stop the flow of these deadly drugs into our communities.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Jordan.
An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.