Playboy Bloods gang member sentenced to life for murder, casino robbery

A member of the Playboy Bloods street gang was sentenced Tuesday to life in federal prison for participating in a 2004 retaliation murder and an earlier armed robbery of a Henderson casino.

Jacorey Taylor, 31, was found guilty at trial in May on several charges, including engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, committing violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity, using a firearm during a crime of violence and participating in a drug conspiracy.

He was the 9th gang member convicted in the 2008 federal racketeering case. The 10th defendant, Markette Tillman, 31, is awaiting trial.

“We will use federal resources to prosecute street gang members who commit cowardly and horrible crimes in our community,” Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said. “I commend the many law enforcement officers who worked on this investigation and assisted us in ensuring a conviction in this case.”

The Playboy Bloods primarily dealt crack cocaine in a housing complex known as the “Jets.” The complex formally called Sherman Garden Annex is at H and Doolittle streets, according to the indictment.

During the course of the FBI-led investigation, members were captured on video and audiotape selling crack cocaine to undercover informants.

They used violence, including murder, to protect their criminal enterprise and often faced off against rival gangs such as GPK, Rolling 60s and the Donna Street Crips. They also targeted security officers assigned to the housing complex, prosecutors alleged.

Security guard Brian Wilcox was one of the victims, according to prosecutors.

In January 2004, Wilcox was killed while attempting to resolve a disturbance in the neighborhood. Sensing he would be better off waiting for help, Wilcox, 29, left on his bicycle.

He was shot in the back and later died.

Taylor was convicted of participating in the November 2004 slaying of another man, Billy Ray Thomas.

Gang members shot and killed Thomas while he was working on his car at the Pecos Terrace Apartments on East Lake Mead Boulevard. He was shot in retaliation for a rival gang’s slaying of a Playboy Bloods leader, according to court documents. Several of the Playboy Bloods, mistakenly believing the Crips gang had killed their leader, drove around Crips territory until they came across Thomas, the documents allege.

Thomas, who was shot multiple times in his back, turned out not to be a Crips member.

Taylor also was convicted of participating in the March 2002 armed robbery of the Klondike Casino in Henderson. Armed with an AR-15 style assault rifle, Taylor and another armed man entered the casino, forced their way behind the cage, and took more than $7,000 in cash.

Eight other defendants earlier pleaded guilty to various racketeering and drug charges and received stiff prison terms:

— Steven Booth, 27, 20 years.

— Reginald Dunlap, 30, 20 years.

— Demichael Burks, 29, 6½ years.

— Anthony Mabry, 43, 14 years.

— Delvin Ward, 37, 11 years.

— Terrence Thomas, 40, 10 years.

— Sebastian Wigg, 36, 5 years.

— Fred Nix, 36, 5 years.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas Dickinson and Phillip Smith Jr. and Kevin L. Rosenberg, a trial attorney with the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.

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