The federal court system is not the same as the state court system. Some cases that end with acquittal of a defendant in Virginia court might still spark federal criminal charges which could end in conviction. Serious penalties can be meted out as a result. It's important to be working with an experienced attorney in such circumstances.
Seven individuals with alleged links to gang activity are now facing federal charges, according to the U.S. Attorney in Newport News. The indictment against the defendants, unsealed Monday, lays out a significant list of alleged crimes, including some related to racketeering, weapons crimes, drug offenses, and murder.
All of the defendants are alleged to be members of the Black P-Stones gang. Some are said to be apparent leaders. Others are identified as lower associates.
Court documents for the case list three defendants as allegedly responsible for the November 2007 shooting death of another gang member who was believed to have been disloyal to the gang. The three are charged with murder in the aid of racketeering in the case. The same three individuals are also charged with racketeering conspiracy.
One of the three is also charged with a second count of murder in the aid of racketeering for an October 2010 shooting death. A fourth defendant is also charged in that case.
Three others named in the indictment are accused of racketeering conspiracy, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, as well as weapons and drug charges.
The indictment does not name either of the victims. It only identifies them by initials. But the Daily Press newspaper suggests that the victim in the 2007 shooting was a 19-year-old man. It says the 2010 victim is believed to be a 51-year-old Newport News man who may have been targeted as a potential witness.
Source: Daily Press, "Seven alleged gang members charged in federal indictment," Tyra M. Vaughn, Dec. 18, 2013