5 Detroit gang members charged with racketeering, drugs and firearms offenses

Five Detroit gang members were charged with several racketeering, drug and firearms offenses in a federal indictment unsealed on Friday.

According to a Justice Department news release, the charges came as a result of the Detroit One Initiative, a combined effort between the community and police to try and fight violent crime in the city.

The indictment charges five members of the Young and Skantless street gang, also known as YNS. The charges were related to crimes including murder, robberies, arson, home invasion and drug dealing, with the specifics listed below:

  • Corey Toney, 36, of Detroit, is charged with RICO conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance;
  • Edward Tavorn, 30, of Detroit, is charged with RICO conspiracy and felon in possession of a firearm;
  • Andre Chattam, 27, of Detroit, is charged with RICO conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death;
  • Kevin Pearson, 25, of Detroit, is charged with RICO conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death; and
  • Sontez Wells, 23, of Detroit, is charged with murder in aid of racketeering, and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.

The indictment alleges YNS, a criminal organization that operates in the northwest Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit, routinely and ruthlessly used violence to eliminate competing drug dealers and silence community members and also intimidated by posting photos and videos on social media.

The ATF’s Comprehensive Violence Reduction Partnership Task Force is investigating the case. The investigative partnership is comprised of representatives from the ATF, Detroit Police Department, Michigan State Police and Michigan Department of Corrections.