St. Phillips Boys’ drug case

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 3, 2006

Superseding indictment charges 15 with drug conspiracy

By Victor Inge

The Selma Times-Journal

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MOBILE – The number of defendants labeled as the “St. Phillips Boys” by federal prosecutors has risen to 15, and all of them have been named in a “superseding indictment” charging they operated as a street gang.

The indictment will allow prosecutors to seek a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years to life in prison if the defendants are convicted in federal court. The indictment revealed why more than 150 agents from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the ABI, Selma Police Department, Dallas County Sheriffs Department and the Fourth Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force used the show of force they did to serve indictments and search warrants.

In a news release issued Friday, three additional defendants join the 12 who were arrested or sought following an Aug. 2 raid on four houses in the 1400 block of

St. Phillips Street.

Antwand Norwood, alias “Poo Pie,” Daniel Latrail Jones, alias “Big Daniel,” and Roderick Washington, alias “Boo Rod,” join those previously charged with participation in the drug conspiracy.

The “superseding indictment” charges each of the 15 defendants in a drug distribution conspiracy that operated as a street gang, announced Deborah J. Rhodes, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.

Based on the quantity of crack cocaine charged in the conspiracy count of the new indictment, each defendant faces a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted, the news release said.

Based on the amount of cocaine allegedly sold and prior drug convictions, some of the defendants are now facing 20 years to life, according to the United States Attorney’s office.

In February 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales unveiled the Department of Justice’s plan to combat gang violence across America. This strategy is two-fold. First, it prioritizes prevention programs to provide youth and offenders returning to the community with opportunities that help them resist gang involvement. Second, the plan ensures “robust enforcement” policies when gang-related violence does occur, according to the news release.

The Attorney General’s program expands the successful Project Safe Neighborhoods (Alabama I.C.E.) program to include new and enhanced anti-gang efforts.

The “superseding indictment” charges several individuals with specific instances or drug possession and distribution. It charges Antwand Norwood, a three-time convicted felon, with possession of ammunition, which allows for a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison if he is convicted.

Kashif Norwood, Kenneth Moore and Kevin Moore were charged with possession of firearms during a drug trafficking crime, which provides for a consecutive penalty of between five and 10 years imprisonment. Both Moores were also charged with a federal firearms offense related to the possession of a sawed-off shotgun, which carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years imprisonment, according to the news release.

In a scene unfamiliar to Selma, helicopters provided air support as officers on the ground closed in using percussion grenades and flash bombs to hit four homes simultaneously during the early morning raid. Since then, a federal magistrate has ruled each defendants be held without bond.