FBI agents have arrested reputed leaders, members and associates of the longtime Gerson Park Kingsmen gang in a major undercover drug trafficking case.
Twelve defendants, including alleged gang leader Reggie Pratt, 35, were charged in four federal drug indictments unsealed Wednesday. A 13th defendant was indicted separately on a firearms charge.
Federal prosecutors said in court that FBI agents have audio and video recordings of undercover drug buys made during the investigation, which according to the indictments occurred from June 2011 to last month.
The indictments allege the defendants were trafficking in cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. Several residences were maintained for the purpose of distributing cocaine.
The Gerson Park Kingsmen, one of the more widely known street gangs in Southern Nevada, was named after the old Herbert Gerson Park housing project near Martin Luther King and Lake Mead boulevards. The public project was disbanded in the late 1990s.
Pratt, who prosecutors said has a lengthy criminal history, was ordered held without bail late Tuesday. He faces a May 2 trial with several co-defendants on conspiracy, drug trafficking and firearms charges.
Several weapons, including an assault rifle, were found in Pratt’s possession during court-authorized FBI searches in the long-running investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Schiess said Pratt, known as “Reg Wak,” had 18 arrests from 1997 to 2008, several for obstructing a police officer. He was convicted of robbery in 1999.
Two other defendants facing drug charges, Devin Bass, 31, and Antoine Evans, 44, made appearances with Pratt on Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bill Hoffman. Bass was ordered held without bail, and Evans, who is in custody, was to have a detention hearing on Friday. All three defendants pleaded not guilty.
Five more defendants charged in the case pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and drug distribution charges on Wednesday. Torrence Douglas, 41, Dywon Johnson, 30, Antonio Randolph, 36 and Shawn Demorris Clay, 24, all were ordered held without bail.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cristina Silva said Douglas, known as “Face” on the street, was considered “armed and dangerous” with violent tendencies. He has felony convictions and a long criminal record dating to 1993 that includes an arrest for attempted murder, Silva said.
Yolanda Jennings, 37, known by the alias “Pepsi,” was released on her own recognizance with restrictions.
Prosecutors said Jennings, a mother of five children and three grandchildren, has previous arrests for prostitution and drugs. During a search of her residence in December 2013, FBI agents found cash, handguns and a variety of street drugs, some within the reach of her children.
Both Jennings and Randolph were also charged with distribution of marijuana and methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school — a charge that draws a stiffer penalty.
Several defendants in the case have yet to be taken into custody.
Contact Jeff German at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ