Almost three dozen accused United Blood Nation gang members – including a “godfather” who helped run East Coast operations from a New York prison cell – have pleaded guilty to charges outlined in a sweeping federal indictment issued in Charlotte last year.
The pleas, which were announced Monday by U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray in Charlotte and others, mark the latest crackdown on UBN, the Atlantic coast arm of the Bloods.
Last May, 83 accused gang members were arrested in an early morning roundup that stretched from Florida to New York and involved some 600 law enforcement officers. The indictment handed down by a Charlotte federal grand jury included charges ranging from murder and drug trafficking to identity theft.
Authorities say all the suspects are part of the Nine Trey Gangsters, a wing of the UBN network. The accused included members of what authorities described as the gang’s top leaders, most of whom were already imprisoned in New York at the time of their new arrests.
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The top targets included Omari “Uno B” Rosario of Elmira, N.Y., who has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, authorities announced Monday.
A Justice Department statement to announce the 35 guilty pleas says Rosario at one time served as acting “Godfather” of the entire gang. The 41-year-old, along with Pedro “Magoo” Gutierrez and James “Frank White” Baxton, formed UBN’s leadership triumvirate. The three oversaw gang-wide operations from their prison cells in New York state and regularly met with visiting underlings to discuss UBN business, the May indictment said.
Gutierrez and Baxton are being held at unknown locations in Western North Carolina. They will be tried at a later date.
Other alleged gang leaders who have pleaded guilty include:
▪ Porsha “Lady Uno B” Rosero of Syracuse, N.Y., who maintained a Facebook account that Omari Rosero used to send messages to other gang leaders, authorities say. According to court documents, she also took part in a phone conversation in which gang members discussed punishing a suspected government informant, prosecutors say.
▪ Montraya “Hardbody” Atkinson, 31, of Raleigh, who prosecutors say held the rank of “High” in the gang (just below ‘godfather’ in importance) and has also admitted to drug-related charges.
▪ Adrian “Gotti” Coker of Gastonia, who prosecutors say was caught on an FBI wiretap discussing the potential killing of a rival gang member.
▪ Bianca “Lady Gunz” Harrison, of Midway Park near Camp Lejeune, who prosecutors say traveled to meet with gang leaders Gutierrez and Baxton in their N.Y. prisons.
In a statement released out of Washington, Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronin, said the federal crackdown intentionally focused on UBN leaders.
“By targeting the high-ranking individuals who were directing the gang’s activities – from locations up and down the Eastern United States, both within prisons and in our communities – today’s pleas constitute a substantial step towards the gang’s eradication,” Cronin said.
UBN has been highly active in North Carolina’s prisons and cities. Members of a Charlotte UBN sect known as “the Valentine Bloods” planned and pulled off the 2014 killings of Doug and Debbie London to keep them from testifying against the gang members who tried to rob their mattress store.
Authorities say an imprisoned UBN member from Raleigh directed the kidnapping of the father of his prosecutor from a state prison cell using a smuggled cell phone.
Murray, who took office after the indictment and initial arrests, said the gang crackdown was aimed to deliver “a major blow” to the criminal conspiracy.
“We’ve made significant progress toward that goal, but the work is far from over,” he said. “We have a duty to protect the public from gang violence and to bring relief to neighborhoods afflicted by gang activity.”