Three members of the Thug Relations street gang were sentenced today to life in prison for their roles in multiple murders and robberies, in addition to other crimes related to their criminal enterprise.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia; Special Agent in Charge Martin Culbreth of FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; and Chief of Police Richard Myers of the Newport News Police Department made the announcement.
Brothers Eric Pridgen, aka “Rabbit,” 33, and Herbert Pridgen, aka “Bok,” 29, along with co-conspirator Maurice McClain, 33, all of Newport News, Virginia, were convicted by a federal jury of four VICAR murders, Hobbs Act robbery violations, felon in possession charges and use of a firearm resulting in murder. Today’s sentences were imposed by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson of the Eastern District of Virginia.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Thug Relations was a Virginia-area criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in acts of violence, including five murders, numerous drug robberies and shootings. The jury convicted the three defendants of racketeering conspiracy with special verdicts on four separate murders.
Three other defendants, Douglas Ashby, Robbie Bowles and Antonio Johnson were charged in the same indictment, but pleaded guilty prior to trial.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Yvonne A. Garcia of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Managing Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard J. Zlotnick, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa R. McKeel and Brian J. Samuels of the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case.