COLUMBUS (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced federal racketeering charges against 19 alleged gang members in Ohio in a conspiracy involving murder, attempted murder and drug trafficking.
Sessions said the 19 men are associated with a local branch of the Crips gang in Columbus. Authorities said 15 of the men are already in custody, including eight in state or federal prison.
Investigators said some defendants orchestrated crimes by phone from prison. Five murders happened between 2012 and 2016.
Sessions used the indictment to promote an anti-violent crime program launched under President George W. Bush.
Sessions revived the program, known as Project Safe Neighborhoods, last year as part of the Trump administration’s tough-on-crime agenda.