Six men with ties to local gangs are in trouble with the feds. The "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act" is a federal law that allows prosecutors to go after criminal organizations.
This 3-year investigation started when police figured out that individual street gangs were working together. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer says it has a chance to be the most impactful investigation ever on gang and gun violence.
Authorities say a 15-count indictment under the RICO Act will take gang members from the 40th Avenue and 44th Ave. Crips off the streets and help families rest easier.
"These gang members did what they call clicked up, they combined their forces to spread their reign of terror, their reign of violence, their reign of intimidation, their reign of retaliatory shootings,” said US Attorney Deborah Gilg.
These six from ages 21-32 are behind bars for drugs, weapons, attempted murder and murder, as well as witness tampering.
Julio Arias, Greg Bahati, Dionte Dortch, Jerell Haynie, Brandon Heard, and Kendell Tealor allegedly formed the “Murk Squad.” Authorities say they’d go out together and are behind multiple shootings as retaliation, or to shut up witnesses.
“Violent crime in the city of Omaha was actually down 5% in Omaha last year, but our homicides spiked because of gang and gun violence retaliation and a disregard for human life on that front,” Chief Schmaderer explained.
The indictment says they went after rival gangs including the Nike Crew, which is affiliated with the Bloods gang. Authorities tell KMTV that recently "Operation Red Rising" took down close to a dozen Nike gang members.
Chief Schmaderer hopes they can indict more gangs under the RICO Act on a monthly basis.
Four others are arrested in this investigation, but not under the RICO Act. Their charges include drugs, harboring a fugitive, and lying to a licensed arms dealer.