Peoria Bomb Squad Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy; Gang Violence, Attempted Murder, Gun and Drug Charges
Peoria County Sheriff’s Office
PEORIA, Ill. – A Peoria, Ill., man, Terry Moss, a member of the Bomb Squad street gang, today pleaded guilty to conspiring with other alleged gang members as an organized criminal enterprise to commit violent crimes. In addition, Moss, 23, aka “Lil Man,” admitted to attempted murder in aid of racketeering; use of a firearm in relation to a violent crime; and possession and distribution of crack cocaine. Moss appeared in federal court before Chief U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid. Sentencing for Moss is scheduled on Aug. 8, 2019.
Moss is one of the 15 men charged in June 2018 with federal racketeering conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Trial for the remaining 14 defendants remains scheduled on June 10, 2019, before Judge Shadid. These defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Under the RICO statute, a crime which carries a statutory penalty up to life, the defendants are charged with working as an organized criminal enterprise to achieve its objectives, including activities that affect interstate commerce. From 2013 to June 2018, members and associates of Bomb Squad allegedly engaged in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, arson, and drug trafficking. The enterprise used violence to protect itself, its members and associates from rival gangs and to protect the standing and reputation of Bomb Squad.
During his appearance in court today, Moss admitted that he was first exposed to Bomb Squad when he was approximately 13 years old. As a member of the Bomb Squad enterprise, on multiple occasions, Moss admitted he shot at rival gang members in Bomb Squad territory, including on June 27, 2017, when a bullet struck a rival gang member in the foot. Moss admitted he sold and helped others sell narcotics, including crack cocaine, and that he possessed guns, held guns for others and loaned guns to other gang members or associates.
At sentencing, Moss faces potential statutory penalties of up to life for the offense of RICO conspiracy; for violent crime in aid of racketeering (VICAR) attempted murder, the statutory penalty is up to 20 years in prison. Use of a firearm in a crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison to be served consecutive to any other term of imprisonment. For possession with intent to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine, the maximum penalty is up to 30 years in prison.
The charges are part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods violent crime reduction strategy and an ongoing investigation by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working together to identify, disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations and violent street gangs.
U.S. Attorney John Milhiser reinforced the office’s commitment to working with partner law enforcement agencies to use and coordinate all necessary resources to combat violence in our communities. “Working with our state and local partners, we will target those individuals who choose to commit violent crime,” said U.S. Attorney Milhiser.
Law enforcement agencies conducting the investigation include ATF, the Peoria Police Department, and DEA, in coordination with the Office of Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Hanna is coordinating the prosecution on behalf of the government in the Peoria Division, Central District of Illinois.
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