South Side gang members plead guilty

By joe gorman


Three members of a South Side-based street gang pleaded guilty Thursday to several charges in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Frankie “Tank” Hudson and O’Keefe Brown, both 20; and Deon Sanders, 21, entered the pleas before Judge Maureen Sweeney.

Sentencing will be at a later date

The three men and another man who pleaded guilty to charges in June, Ruben Sanchez, 18, all admitted they were part of the H Block gang, which ran its base of operations from the Hilton Avenue area.

The four were indicted on charges ranging from aggravated robbery and illegal possession of firearms to being members of a criminal gang in 2012.

Hudson faces two additional counts of murder, one for a case in 2010 and another in 2011, which were indicted earlier this year.

Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 10 years for Hudson, who pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated robbery, illegal possession of a firearm and robbery, but his defense attorney, David Betras, is seeking a seven-year sentence.

Judge Sweeney will decide how many years Hudson should serve when she sentences him.

Prosecutors are recommending sentences of five years for Sanders and three years for Brown.

The pleas head off a jury trial for all three men, which was slated to begin Monday.

The case is the second major gang case to see court activity this week. Also this week several pretrial hearings took place for members of the Vic Boys gang on the East Side. In August, 11 members of the gang were indicted on charges ranging from drug trafficking and robbery to illegal possession of firearms and being members of a criminal gang.

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