After 12 weeks of trial, six defendants have been convicted for their roles in wide-ranging racketeering and drug distribution conspiracies that involved seven murders, firearms offenses and related criminal conduct.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III of the Middle District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Tampa, Florida, made the announcement.
Nathaniel Harris, 25, aka Popo; Napoleon Harris, 32, aka Pole; Charlie Green, 29, aka Mr. 30N32; Jerry Green, 30, aka Jerk; Corey Harris, 26, aka James; and Deonte Martin, 31, aka Tang, all of Bradenton and St. Petersburg, Florida, were each convicted today of one count of drug distribution conspiracy. Nathaniel Harris, Napoleon Harris, Charlie Green, Jerry Green and Martin were each convicted of one count of racketeering conspiracy. In addition, Nathaniel Harris was convicted of two counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder, armed kidnapping, maintaining a house used for drug distribution, use of a firearm in furtherance of maintaining a drug house, possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and cocaine, use of a firearm in furtherance of drug crimes, felon in possession of ammunition and felon in possession of firearms and ammunition; Charlie Green was convicted of three counts of murder; Jerry Green was convicted of two counts of murder; Napoleon Harris was convicted of one count of murder and one count of felon in possession of ammunition; and Martin was convicted of one count each of murder, possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and felon in possession of a firearm. Corey Harris pleaded guilty during trial to three counts of distribution of crack cocaine.
According to evidence presented at trial, the defendants were members of a racketeering enterprise that controlled illicit drug distribution and committed murders for hire in and around Bradenton, a small community in Manatee County, Florida. From about 2006 through 2014, evidence showed that the defendants were responsible for murdering seven individuals who had crossed members of the enterprise in some fashion or whom members had been hired to murder. One of the murder victims was gunned down at a community center in front of hundreds of children and their parents. Evidence presented at trial also demonstrated that the racketeering enterprise attempted to murder an eighth individual who survived but is now paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
Evidence presented at trial showed that the defendants’ enterprise maintained a number of so-called “trap houses” that were used to distribute cocaine, cocaine base, MDMA, oxycodone and marijuana, and used extreme violence to collect drug debts and enforce its control of the drug trafficking in its territory. The enterprise also used threats of violence to prevent members of the community from testifying against enterprise members.
Twelve enterprise members and co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, firearms and other offenses in connection with this case.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Florida investigated the case, with assistance from other federal and state and local law enforcement agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Murray, Natalie Adams and Walter “Terry” Furr of the Middle District of Florida, and Trial Attorney Marty Woelfle of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section are prosecuting the case.