PITTSBURGH — In a stunning federal indictment, the late rapper Jimmy Wopo has been identified by investigators as the leader of a violent street gang.
On Tuesday, three men were arrested for allegedly conspiring to commit murder, robbery and drug trafficking, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.
Dionte Griffin, 22; Sydney Pack, 20; and Richard Kelly, 23, are all charged with conspiracy to violate the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act.
According to the indictment, all three were members of the 11 Hunnit street gang from 2015 until this month.
The gang, also known as FDT and Sneaky Gang, is composed primarily of individuals from Pittsburgh's Hill District and has been functioning since 2012, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The indictment also identifies a fourth person by the initials T.S., and says that this individual was killed on June 18. T.S. is said to have had a leadership role in the gang and great influence due to "his notoriety as a regionally popular rap artist."
June 18 was the same day rapper Jimmy Wopo, real name Travon Smart, was killed in a driveby shooting. Wopo often made references to gang activity and "Sneaky Gang" in his lyrics and videos.
“As alleged, these defendants are members of a violent gang whose drug trafficking and other acts of violence have terrorized law abiding residents of the City of Pittsburgh for too long. Today, it ends,” said U.S. Attorney Scott Brady.
The indictment says members of 11 Hunnit were primarily from the 800 block of Memory Lane and the 300 block of Burrows Street, as well as several neighboring housing complexes, in the Hill District.
The indictment outlines more than two dozen illegal activities said to have been carried out by members of 11 Hunnit, including killing members of the rival Wavy Boyz gang, armed home invasion, heroin distribution and violence against members of their own gang.
"It was a campaign of violence that terrorized the Hill District," Brady told Channel 11.
Griffin and Pack allegedly shot and killed a rival gang member in Stowe Township in 2016, when a 7-year-old child was injured in the crossfire, according to the indictment.
Both Pack and Griffin appear in Wopo's music video for "Chicky Talk" posted on YouTube, according to the indictment. Lyrics are said to refer to at least one shooting and act as a warning to gang members about the "consequences of disloyalty."
"He used his platform as a regional rap star to upload videos, and used that to communicate to gang members, to intimidate rival gang members, to intimidate witnesses," Brady said. "So he had had a very significant role in this activity."
A second Wopo music video posted on YouTube titled "Rent's Due" is also detailed in the indictment. It allegedly shows members of 11 Hunnit with guns and the lyrics make "numerous references to inflicting violence on this inclined to cooperate with law enforcement."
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