By Joe Gorman
The Vic Boys have been without a leader for almost two years.
As several members of the East Side street gang were arraigned in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday after being arrested Monday on counts that they dealt drugs and belonged to a criminal enterprise, Assistant Prosecutor Martin Desmond said the leader of the gang, Adam Christian, 23, was killed in November 2011 on Woodcrest Avenue.
In April, three men were charged with Christian’s murder: Dewaylyn Colvin, 31; Michael Austin, 19; and Hakeem Henderson, 21. Their cases are pending. Desmond would not say whether the slaying was related to the gang, and he also would not comment on whether it was easier to build a case against them without a clear-cut leader.
Thursday, a grand jury secretly indicted 13 suspected gang members or associates on charges ranging from trafficking in drugs to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity to being felons in possession of weapons. Three others were indicted in juvenile court.
Desmond said that though the gang sold drugs in small amounts, they had a large stockpile from which to pick. He also said they could get access to other items, including guns.
“It was like a one-stop shop for whatever you want,” Desmond said.
All the cases were assigned to Judge Maureen Sweeney with Aug. 20 pretrial dates and Sept. 23 trial dates scheduled.
Of the 13 indicted last week, two have escaped police and the remainder were arraigned Tuesday except for Curtis Jones, 21, and Devante Gilmore, 19, who are serving prison sentences for the death of 16-year-old De’Vail Fleeton, who was killed in March 2011 on the East Side.
Jones is serving 12 years for involuntary manslaughter with a firearm specification. Gilmore is serving 12 years for complicity to commit involuntary manslaughter, also with a firearm specification. They will be arraigned next week.
Others were also in the jail when the indictments were issued on unrelated charges. Brandon Wallace, 18, of Boardman, was on bond after pleading guilty July 16 to a count of felonious assault with a firearm specification, and he also has two prior convictions in juvenile court for domestic violence.
Darrell Mason, 23, a former star running back for Ursuline High School, has a pending case in West Virginia, Desmond said during the arraignment. Mason also pleaded guilty or no contest to a charge of aggravated menacing in county court in Boardman in March. The grand jury chose not to indict him in 2009 on a concealed-weapons charge.
Marquis Christian, 29, has pending charges before Judge Sweeney of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of drugs. Graylan Folmar, 23, was sentenced to probation in 2011 for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Charles Moore, 19, has two prior charges of receiving stolen property. Phillip Anderson, 23, served probation for an abduction and domestic violence in 2010.
They were all ordered held either without bond or with bonds over $250,000 by Magistrate Eugene Fehr, who said they could make their case for reduced bonds at their pretrials.
Three others, Martin Sims, 49; Jody Briggs, 40; Lawrence Mitchum, 51, while indicted with the gang members, do not face charges of belonging to the gang and were given bonds of $20,000 or $5,000 for Mitchum.
Police said they began investigating the gang last year after several shootings in the city where members were either suspects or victims.