Updated:PITTSBURGH,None - Charges have been filed against 26 Crips gang members hailing from Pittsburgh Brighton Heights and Northview Heights neighborhoods.
Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar and Sam Rabadi, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the Crips were sophisticated and went to great lengths to protect and support their own.
Cessar said the gang members used hand signs and special shouts to identify each other and had a motto, "Soldiers over everything."
"We consider the Brighton/Northview Heights crips one of the most violent street gangs in southwestern Pennsylvania," said Cessar. "They have preyed upon our community for the last time."
The defendants, whose names haven't been released, are charged with conspiring to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity, which includes multiple acts of violence such as drug trafficking, robbery, attempted murder, assault, obstruction of justice and carjacking.
"By providing support to those who were incarcerated pending charges or serving sentences and they did this by paying attorneys fees bonding jail putting money on prisoners commissary accounts and by providing monetary support to family members and defendants," said Cessar.
Officials are still searching for two gang members, identified as Phillip Turner and Teron Jenkins.