Updated: 10:38 a.m. Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | Posted: 11:50 a.m. Monday, March 19, 2012

A dozen gang members arrested, to be charged federally


A dozen gang members arrested, to be charged federally photo
Anthony D. Choice
A dozen gang members arrested, to be charged federally photo
Robert A. Hill

By Doug Page and  Steve Bennish

Staff Writer

A federal grand jury has indicted seven men suspected of being members of a Dayton street gang on charges of distributing heroin in four area counties , authorities said Monday.

The indictment follows a year-long investigation by local law enforcement agencies and the FBI.

“These people came to our attention because of their strong, violent pattern of behavior. They have been identified as being involved in multiple felonious assaults, robberies and other gun violence,” Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said. “It’s a good day for our communities.” He added: “They clearly functioned as a gang. In terms of impact, this is big.”

FBI Senior Resident Agent Tim Ferguson said authorities believe much of the gang’s violence was in the Dayton area, but the investigation continues.

“A lot of people were intimidated by this group,” Ferguson said.

Known as the Robert Hill, or “Booby” Hill, gang, it’s the third gang to face federal prosecution since a gang suppression effort began in 2008.

The seven suspected members were indicted in U.S. District Court last week. All were in custody in local jails Monday and face drug distribution charges.

The suspects allegedly distributed heroin in Montgomery, Greene, Butler and Auglaize counties. They allegedly tucked the heroin inside gel caps and used cellphone text messages to advertise to buyers, although the indictment doesn’t detail quantities or dollar value of the drugs. U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart said the men face from five to 40 years in prison if convicted and are being held without bond.

Those charged include suspected gang leader Robert A. Hill, 20; Anthony Choice, 21; D’Andre Hill, Robert’s brother; Corey Collins, 21; Adrian Trone, 23; Richard Benton Jr.; and James Crase, 45. Desmond Hill, 25, who is not related to Robert, and Myron Moon, 24, were indicted earlier.

The Safe Streets Task Force, including Dayton and Trotwood police, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, took credit for the arrests.

In 2010, Choice was indicted with another man in connection with a deadly home invasion at 1211 Alcott Drive in 2009 that killed Wallace Hailey Jr., 32. Although charged with murder and aggravated robbery, the indictment was dismissed before trial.

In 2011, Robert A. Hill and Choice were arrested in connection with a beating that investigators suspected was related to an earlier shooting that injured two children in a car outside Hooks House of Bar B. Q. in Dayton. Both were ultimately released.

The effort has led to the downfall of two gangs with the federal prosecution of key members. But another gang, the 100-member Dayton View Hustlers, has survived law enforcement’s efforts and is still considered the area’s most powerful street gang.


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