Vice Lords gang members to face judge

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 2:27am

Eight members of a Middle Tennessee gang brought down by an extensive federal investigation are scheduled to appear before a judge Tuesday.

In October, the U.S. Attorney's office unsealed a 64-count indictment against members of the Vice Lords street gang, including charges of kidnapping, murder, assault with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana.

On Tuesday afternoon, the defendants will go before U.S. District Court Judge Todd J. Campbell in the Federal Courthouse for a status conference. The purpose of the hearing will be an opportunity for both sides to discuss a trial start date, according to Van Vincent, the assistant U.S. Attorney trying the case, but it also brings one of the area’s most vicious retaliation sprees into court.

Federal prosecutors first began their investigation of the Vice Lords after a string of retaliation crimes that quickly followed the Nov. 10, 2007 shooting death of gang leader Donnell Valentine at the Murfreesboro club, The Drink.

Following that incident, the Vice Lords, led by 28-year-old Roger Wayne Battle, reportedly set out on a wave of retaliation crimes, including four drive-by shootings in Murfreesboro that left four individuals shot — and one, Moss Mason Dixon, dead, according to police reports. The gang members are also charged with the murder of Brandon Harris.

The investigation that led to the indictments was a collaborative effort between federal prosecutors, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, ATF and Murfreesboro and Metro police departments.

According to Vincent, all of the nine suspects have been arrested. Eight have been arraigned on the current charges, including Battle, Jessie Lobbins, Christopher David Imes, Demarco Lewayne Smith, Lashandra Denielle Hightower, Curtis S. Green, Samuel Joseph Gaines and Delregus Alexander.

A ninth defendant, Gary Eugene Chapman, is being held in another Tennessee jurisdiction on other charges.

12 Comments on this post:

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/29/09 at 8:34

Good job! Now convict them and keep them behind bars!

By: TITAN1 on 12/29/09 at 9:07

Never let the scum out again.

By: Kosh III on 12/29/09 at 10:18

Life without parole in solitary confinement.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/29/09 at 10:49


did anyone see on channel 4 news last night the segment regarding Judge Monte Watkins setting the bond so low for someone who is charged with murder? i've been following Judge Watkins decisions for a while now and i'm glad that channel 4 decided to do an expose on his poor judgements.

By: TITAN1 on 12/29/09 at 11:03

Yes, I saw that and wanted to throw up. What a joke!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/29/09 at 11:04

indeed. watching out for the felons and disregarding the best interests of the victim's family. what a farce. if you review his decisions which you can - it's all online - it's truly disturbing.

By: GUARDIAN on 12/29/09 at 1:14

Gangs have no business in Tennessee. What is needed is a hot lead poisoning relocation. It comes in several different calibers 12 ga. 9mm, 45acp, 44mag to name just a few. It is permanent lol they never return. Now all you socialist don't get all mad. I know you would take tax dollars and try to pay them off but that doesn't work. Just pay them in lead and they never want more.

By: sidneyames on 12/29/09 at 1:22

When I moved to TN in 1989, I changed careers. At the time there was no law regulating my profession. I spoke to the Metro vice squad to be sure I'd be within the law. They said yes, but they cautioned me that "organized crime" was moving into Nashville. Now, tell me. If they knew Organized Crime was moving in, how'd they know that? Why didn't they stop it? Causes organized crime is a business industry.

By: GUARDIAN on 12/29/09 at 1:36

Years ago we had a gang move into the east TN town were I served. I told the chief and judge I was going to get rid of them by showing them the way out of town. They were gone the next day never to return. Crime is bad enough without gangs coming to town.

By: TitansFan035 on 12/29/09 at 1:43

My questions to all this cowards aka gang members. Where is the gang now, are they paying your lawyers are they sending you care packages a the jail? Are they going to take care of you all family? I mean c'mon a grown men in a gang has to have some degree of retardation no questions ask!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/29/09 at 1:50

sid, Vice may have tried to stop it but judges such as Judge Watkins keeps letting them out so no matter how many times they're arrested, it's futile. it's not always the fault of the cops. many times they're doing their job but the DA's office and/or judges let them off the hook.

By: WittySage on 12/29/09 at 6:24

It's absurd to me that it's taking this long to get them to trial. EVERYONE should have a FAIR TRIAL in front of 12 ordinary people who have no prior knowledge of the case. Then if (or in the case when) convicted animals like this should be put down IMMEDIATELY following the trial. Not after years of appeals, I'm talking they walk or get dragged out of the court room, get sealed in a coffin and buried in an unmarked grave. THAT is justice AND a deterrent to others.

But that's just my opinion.