Mississippi News

Gangster Disciple member pleads guilty to racketeering conspiracy 

Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

A member of the Gangster Disciples gang has pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy involving his firebombing of a prison guard’s house and the distribution of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

Today’s plea marks the 12th and final conviction in the Northern District of Mississippi case against five members of the Gangster Disciples and seven members of the Simon City Royals, a gang aligned with the Gangster Disciples.

According to court documents, Darrell Steele, 49, of Meridian was a member of the Gangster Disciples. Acting on the orders of high-ranking Gangster Disciples leaders, Steele and other gang members manufactured firebombs to bomb the home of a prison guard who was interfering with the gang’s illegal drug operation within Mississippi state prisons. On or about Sept. 11, 2019, Steele threw a firebomb into the home where the guard lived with his wife and young children. The firebomb malfunctioned, and the guard and his family escaped unharmed.

Steele pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 16 and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The other 11 defendants in the case have already been sentenced to the following terms of imprisonment:

In a related case, the Criminal Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi are currently prosecuting another 21 members and associates of the Simon City Royals. According to court documents, the Gangster Disciples and Simon City Royals were allied under the “Folk Nation Alliance.” Within the Mississippi state prison system and throughout the state of Mississippi, the Gangster Disciples and Simon City Royals worked together to conduct fraud, narcotics trafficking, and other criminal money making schemes, and committed several acts of violence, including assaults and attempted murders.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner for the Northern District of Mississippi, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Anthony Spotswood of the ATF New Orleans Field Division made the announcement.

The ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Secret Service, FBI Jackson Field Office, Mississippi Department of Corrections, and local law enforcement agencies across multiple states are investigating the cases.

Trial Attorney Brendan Woods of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Stringfellow for the Northern District of Mississippi are prosecuting the case.

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