NORFOLK, Va. – A federal jury convicted three members of the Nine Trey Gangsters Thursday for their roles in a racketeering conspiracy that took place in five Hampton Roads cities in 2015.
Six defendants were charged in federal court, and defendants Antonio Lee Simmons, Nathaniel Tyree Mitchell and Malek Lassiter were convicted Thursday of all charges after a seven-week trial. Three other defendants previously pleaded guilty.
The crimes included five murders, six attempted murders and various drug traffic trafficking, robbery and firearms crimes.
Court records and trial evidence say the Nine Trey Gangsters are a part of the United Blood Nation street gang. From Thanksgiving through Christmas in 2015, the gang members were said to have murdered two men and three women. The victims had no affiliation with the gang.
One of the victims, 48-year-old Linda Lassiter and her boyfriend, 48-year-old Wayne Davis, were killed weeks after speaking to the police about a gang-related shooting at her daughter’s house.
Another victim’s body, that of 26-year-old Al-Tariq Tynes, was hidden in the trunk of his car and driven around for days before he was dumped into a ditch in Chesapeake. His body was not discovered until early 2016.
25-year-old Jamesha Roberts, a mother of two children under the age of five, was gunned down in Norfolk after her shift at the Starbucks inside the Norfolk International Airport. Witnesses testified at trial that Mitchell, who was in competition with another Nine Trey member to see who could shoot the most people, killed her for “walking on the wrong side of the street.”
The records and evidence determined that Simmons was the head of a locally-based “line” of the gang. After two subordinate members, Anthony Foye and Mitchell, were arrested for an armed robbery of a Shell gas station on December 27, 2015, authorities linked a gun and a shell casing that was recovered after the robbery to nine of the crime scenes. The same getaway car used at the robbery was captured on video fleeing the scene of a shooting at the Aqua Lounge nightclub in Virginia Beach on December 20.
A two-year investigation by the Portsmouth Police Department’s gang unit and the FBI used technological analysis that tied the gang members to the crime scene locations.
Below is a list of suspects and their respective charges:
- Antonio Lee Simmons, aka “Murdock,” “Doc,” 39 – Racketeering Conspiracy; Heroin distribution conspiracy; Murder in Aid of Racketeering (2); Attempted murder in aid of racketeering (4); Assault with a dangerous weapon (3); Use of a firearm resulting in death (2); Use of a firearm during a crime of violence (5); Various firearm and drug offenses; sentenced to two mandatory life terms plus mandatory minimum of 160 years on July 19
- Nathaniel Tyree Mitchell, aka “Savage,” 25 – Racketeering Conspiracy; Murder in Aid of Racketeering (4); Attempted murder in aid of racketeering (6); Assault with a dangerous weapon (5); Use of a firearm resulting in death (4); Use of a firearm during a crime of violence (7); sentenced to four mandatory life terms plus mandatory minimum of 160 years on July 17
- Anthony Foye, aka “Ace,” “Bull,” 26 – Murder in Aid of Racketeering (4); sentenced to four mandatory life terms on May 2
- Malek Lassiter, aka “Leeko,” 22 – Racketeering Conspiracy; Attempted murder in aid of racketeering (3); Assault with a dangerous weapon (2); Use of a firearm during a crime of violence (4); Mandatory minimum of 85 years, maximum of life on July 18
- Alvaughn Davis, aka “LB,” 29 – Use of a firearm resulting in death; racketeering conspiracy; accessory after the fact to murder in aid of racketeering; sentenced to 45 years on Oct. 17, 2017
- Donte Brehon, aka “Dog Nutz,” 36 – Accessory after the fact to assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin; sentenced to 160 months on June 5, 2017