Forty defendants – ranging in age from 21 to 62 — face a 147-count indictment in what federal authorities on Thursday called “the largest federal racketeering case in South Carolina history,” according to a report.
Charges brought by a federal grand jury against the defendants include murder, kidnapping, firearms distribution and drug trafficking, the office of U.S. Attorney Peter McCoy announced in Columbia, S.C., FOX Carolina of Greenville, S.C., reported.
The inmates often used contraband cell phones to order the crimes from inside the state’s corrections facilities on behalf of a gang called the Insane Gangster Disciples, acting assistant attorney general Brian Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s criminal division said in a statement, according to the report.
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Some defendants also ordered violent retaliation against accused of being informants for law enforcement, or accused of stealing drug proceeds or owing the gang money, authorities said.
“It is alleged these violent acts, to include murder and kidnapping, were often carried out by IGD members outside the jails,” authorities said in a statement. “Additionally, the 101-page indictment alleges that to perpetuate the enterprise and to maintain and extend its power, members and associates of the gang committed, attempted to commit, and conspired to commit, additional acts such as armed robbery, extortion, arson, assault and battery, drug trafficking, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.”
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The case began in July 2017 as a probe of methamphetamine trafficking and illegal gun sales, involving personnel from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team; and the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, FOX Carolina reported.