Pubdate: Wed, 10 May 2000
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Section: Front page
Copyright: 2000 The Washington Post Company
Contact:  1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071
Author: Bill Miller, Washington Post Staff Writer
Note: Metro staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.


Federal authorities said yesterday they have dismantled one of the most 
violent drug gangs ever to operate in the District, charging the alleged 
ringleader with carrying out or ordering the slayings of 15 people, 
including one man they said was shot by mistake.

Accused drug kingpin Kevin Gray faces what prosecutors said is a record 
number of murder charges for a single defendant in the District. When he 
didn't pull the trigger himself, prosecutors said, Gray arranged for hit 
men to be rewarded with drugs and cash.

For 12 years, Gray's nameless group dominated the crack cocaine and heroin 
trade in many D.C. neighborhoods, prosecutors said. Members allegedly 
gunned down rivals and people they thought might testify against them, 
catching victims by surprise at a gas station, a beauty salon and on street 
corners, sometimes in broad daylight.

Gray, 28, and another reputed leader, Rodney L. Moore, are in custody, 
named with 11 other men in a 76-count federal indictment made public 
yesterday. Prosecutors said they may seek the death penalty against Gray 
and Moore, both of Southeast Washington.

Prosecutors said Gray had no lawful employment. He has had previous brushes 
with the law, including convictions for a weapons offense and assault.

At a time when D.C. police are struggling to solve old homicides and keep 
pace with new cases, officials said their investigation illustrated that 
much of the bloodshed in the District can be tied to gang-related warfare. 
All told, the gang was accused of killing 16 people in the District and 
Virginia and attempting to kill 12 others. Except for one killing, Gray was 
in the thick of the planning, authorities said.

"A relatively small number of people is responsible for the majority of 
violence in the District," said D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, who 
joined U.S. Attorney Wilma A. Lewis and FBI officials at a news conference 
to announce the indictments yesterday.

"As this indictment indicates," Lewis said, "we will use all available and 
legitimate means to investigate and prosecute individuals who engage in 
this sort of ruthless and violent behavior. Our city has had more than it 
should ever have to tolerate."

Authorities said that Gray was the gunman in five slayings and that he 
arranged for 10 other people to be killed. Even after his arrest on 
drug-related charges in October, Gray worked from his jail cell to find 
someone to kill potential witnesses, authorities said. At the same time, he 
tried to make arrangements to sell drugs he had stashed at various 
locations in the District, investigators alleged.

Moore, 34, is accused of helping to orchestrate six killings. He allegedly 
has ties to notorious drug dealer Rayful Edmond III, who is serving a life 
prison sentence for leading a multimillion-dollar drug ring in the 1980s. 
According to court papers, Moore visited Edmond in 1992 at a federal 
penitentiary in Pennsylvania in an attempt to arrange a cocaine deal with 
one of Edmond's old contacts.

Gray also has ties to another well-known D.C. drug defendant. He is the 
nephew of Linwood "Big Boy" Gray, who was acquitted in 1979 of charges that 
he directed a $30 million international heroin-smuggling ring. Linwood Gray 
was convicted of tax evasion.

Attorneys for Kevin Gray and Moore did not return calls seeking comment.

According to the indictment, Gray and Moore chose murder as a way of 
cementing their hold on the local drug market. The first killing took place 
in October 1990, when Gray allegedly shot Anthony Lee Dent, 24, over a drug 
debt in Southeast Washington.

The group allegedly sold hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of 
cocaine, heroin and marijuana over the years on many city streets, 
including the 2800 block of Robinson Place SE; the 1500 block of Alabama 
Avenue SE; the 3100 block of 15th Place SE; the 4300 block of Halley 
Terrace SE; and stretches of Sixth Street NE and H Street NE.

The gang's enforcers routinely tailed their targets, the indictment said.

The charging document, for example, describes the May 1996 search for 
Ricardo E. Bailey, who Gray and others believed was cooperating with 
police. Bailey was spotted by a gang member at a gas station in the 3200 
block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE, the indictment said. Gray allegedly raced 
to the scene and killed Bailey, 21.

Two years later, the group allegedly staged a similar search for Roy Cobb, 
34, described in the indictment as a rival. They gathered near 
Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School in Northeast Washington in hopes of finding 
him. Cobb didn't turn up there but was spotted later at a beauty salon in 
Northwest Washington, where a hit man, allegedly using a .40-caliber pistol 
from Gray, shot Cobb in the head. The killer was rewarded with crack 
cocaine, the indictment said.

Like Cobb, most of the shooting victims were rivals, prosecutors said. 
Three men were killed because they were viewed as potential witnesses, they 
said. In later years, Gray loaned his enforcers to carry out three killings 
for others, they said. That led to the March 1999 killing of Jaime Pereira, 
the man who was shot by mistake, prosecutors said.

Pereira, 51, a Guatemalan immigrant, worked at an auto body shop in 
Colonial Beach, Va. His boss was the intended target, prosecutors said. 
When the hit man later discovered that he had shot the wrong man, he 
allegedly returned, only to shoot at another wrong man.

The Safe Streets Task Force, which comprised D.C. police detectives and FBI 
agents, gathered evidence through surveillance and interviews of suspected 
gang members and associates that led to the indictments in U.S. District 
Court. According to court papers, authorities obtained court-ordered 
wiretaps on Gray's cellular telephone, recording roughly 1,000 calls. They 
also secured the cooperation of at least 25 witnesses.

The indictment includes charges of conspiracy, racketeering, murder and 
drug trafficking. The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Royce C. 

Gray and Moore have been in custody since October, when they were named in 
a federal drug-trafficking indictment. Besides Gray and Moore, those 
charged yesterday include: Maurice Andrews, 29; Bryan Bostick, 30; Frank 
Howard, 30; Roy Johnson, 32; Derrick Moore, 32, who is Rodney Moore's 
brother; Wilford Oliver, 52; John Raynor, 26; Dennis Robinson, 25; Kenneth 
Simmons, 30; Omar Wazir, 30, and Jermaine N. Vick, 27.

Metro staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.
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