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Youngstown gang suspects arraigned; mom of 2 alleges police brutality

Published: Fri, May 23, 2014 @ 12:10 a.m.

9 of 12 E Block suspects arraigned; ; mom of 2 alleges police mistreatment


Martin Desmond, assistant prosecutor

By Joe Gorman



An assistant Mahoning County prosecutor handling the case against 12 suspected members of a West Side gang said tips and complaints from residents in the Evanston Avenue area led to the investigation.

“Probably the biggest aid we have in cases like this is public involvement,” said Martin Desmond, the assistant prosecutor, referencing the investigation that led to the secret indictments last week against 12 suspected members of the E Block Gang, whose base of operations is Evanston Avenue on the lower West Side.

Law-enforcement agencies began rounding up the suspects Tuesday, and a superseding indictment against them was issued Thursday. Nine of the 12 suspects were arraigned Thursday in common pleas court, though all are in custody.

The mother of two of the gang suspects, Teffany Wilson, said she has talked to the U.S. Department of Justice about how she was treated when officers went to her Brockway Avenue home early Tuesday looking for her son Tawaun Gordon, 18. Another son, Tyrone Gordon, 19, also is accused of being in the gang.

Speaking outside the courthouse after arraignments, Wilson said police kicked in her door and told her there was a warrant for her arrest, then dragged her outside with no clothes on and handcuffed her. She had to wait for several minutes before they took the handcuffs off and said they would give her money to replace her door if she would tell them where her son was.

Wilson said she called Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally’s office, who referred her to the Justice Department. She said she is waiting to hear from them.

“The way they handled this was terrible,” Wilson said. “They degraded me in front of my neighbors.”

Wilson also said she has yet to see a copy of the warrant used to search her home.

“I told them if they would’ve knocked, I would’ve opened my door,” Wilson said.

All the members arraigned before Magistrate Dominic DeLaurentis entered pleas of not guilty and had May 30 pretrial hearing dates and June 21 trial dates set before Judge Lou D’Apolito.

Missing was Phillip Lemon, 26, who is in a federal prison; Roderick Wilson, 27, who is in state prison; and Derrick Franklin, 18, whose case is being handled in juvenile court because he was a juvenile when the crimes he is accused of committing occurred.

Added to the arraignments was 55-year-old Robert Blackshear, who was arrested in a McGuffey Road home when police were looking for one of the suspects.

Inside the home were several firearms, including assault weapons and a grenade launcher. He faces weapons charges and is not accused of being a member of the gang.

The 12 gang suspects face charges ranging from aggravated robbery, felonious assault, trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in heroin, trafficking in counterfeit controlled substances, aggravated riot and participating in a criminal gang.

Four of the defendants face the felonious-assault and aggravated-robbery charges for the beating and robbery of a man outside a Mahoning Avenue bar in September 2013.

Wilson said she knows her sons “are not angels,” but they are not in a gang. She said her sons and their friends are people who have moved from other parts of town to the West Side and they just hang out together.

“This is a bunch of kids who became friends,” Wilson said. “They haven’t hurt anybody or killed anybody.”

As for her own sons, she said, “They’re not vicious like they’re saying.”


1republicanRick(1169 comments)posted 5 months ago

She should be sterilized to prevent further harm to the community.

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2daar2055(54 comments)posted 5 months ago

Mrs. Wilson....the task force dont knock. Your just as guilty as your boys are. Your mad because you wont be getting any free dope or cash. Your meal tickets are locked up. Just friends hanging out with some powerful guns and dope. Okay if you say so. I moved from the westside to a far better and safer place. Good job YPD!

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3westsiderscare(35 comments)posted 5 months ago

Aaah...A Mother's Love....swell...where the hell were you when your sons should of been in school and becoming productive citizens of this society...but ya know what that's none of my business.My business is that your thug sons have been prancing up and down Mahoning Ave thinking they own the the westside with their arrogant attitudes and with their entitled lifestyle way of thinking. Where did they get that from mom?
Please do the westside a favor....move. Good job YPD!

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4walter_sobchak(1922 comments)posted 5 months ago

Yes, police found assault weapons and a GRENADE LAUNCHER inside the home and POS Teffany Wilson believes that the police should have knocked before entering. I'm also sure it was not the first time she has been dragged around by men with no clothes on.

Here's the bottom line: 12 worthless thugs behind bars and all law enforcement officials safe to go home to their families.

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5kensgirl(620 comments)posted 5 months ago

Let's not forget all the thugs in training. They'll be up and coming soon. The first wave is over. The next wave is to sterilize the problem.

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6Michael0107(7 comments)posted 5 months ago

Ding Dong,Avon calling to see if your son wants to be arrested for being in a gang,because hes to lazy to go out & live a life for himself.

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7redvert(2075 comments)posted 5 months ago

I can not believe that no one here has any sympathy for this poor momma,. Al, Jesse, dis momma done needs you. Momma is really gonna be wailing when one of her wonder little boys gets capped done the road. Guess there is some slim hope for the area after all.

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8kleener(49 comments)posted 5 months ago

You guys have me laughing so hard at these comments. I can't think of anything else to add other than she'll try & take it to the black federal judge Pearson who'll probably agree with her. Sad.

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9westsiderscare(35 comments)posted 5 months ago

Hey Teff where did one of your offsprings get all that dough he's flashing on FB....WeezstayingfocusGordon....great aka

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10bmanresident(597 comments)posted 5 months ago

The westside has been getting bad for a long time. I can't even speak ill of the westside without folks rushing out to defend it. Obviously it is no different than any other side of town, full of scum!

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11city_resident(513 comments)posted 5 months ago

This just goes to show that you don't have to run from the problems in your neighborhood. Instead, you can work with your neighbors to fix them.

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12billdog1(1412 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm sure nobody was looking at your nakedness momma. They was looking at the spectacle I'm sure you made of yourself. If parents like yourself weren't more interested in the money and dope that finds its way to your personal needs than your children, none of this would have happened. I really don't believe you will have much of a case. Change or be forced to pay the consequences.

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13southsidedave(4784 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Wilson said she knows her sons “are not angels,” - enough said!

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14handymandave(518 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I like all the remarks directed towards the thugs mother but i'm betting two things.
!.) She can't read
2.) Her son has yet to steal her a computer to view these comments even if she could somehow read.

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15joemamma(61 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

oh lord have mercy they always be pickin on my child cause he be black! juss ax anyones!

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16Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

“The way they handled this was terrible,” Wilson said. “They degraded me in front of my neighbors.”

I'm sure your neighbors loved every minute of it. Useless ghetto DNA.
ALWAYS putting the blame on EVERYONE else...NEVER the person in the mirror......

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