News and commentary on organized crime, street crime, white collar crime, cyber crime, sex crime, crime fiction, crime prevention, espionage and terrorism.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
FBI: Violent Home Invasion Case Illustrates Threat Posed By Gangs
The FBI released the below report:
Violent gangs pose a significant threat to communities throughout the United States. You don’t have to live in South Central Los Angeles or Chicago’s inner city to feel the impact of gang violence, as a recent case from Washington state illustrates.
On a Tuesday evening in November 2014, three teenagers from Seattle’s Down with the Crew Gang—a violent affiliate of the Black Gangster Disciples gang—set out from Seattle for a 50-mile drive south to the community of Lakewood. Their intention was to rob a large-scale drug house they had received information about.
Around 9:30 p.m., a 66-year-old Lakewood man answered a knock at his door and was confronted by the three youths, who forced their way into the home. The gang members had picked the wrong house, but that didn’t matter to them. What happened next was 20 minutes of terror for an innocent couple.
The gang members pistol-whipped the man until he was unconscious, tied his hands, and placed a blanket over him. They broke down a bathroom door and dragged out his 61-year-old wife, stabbed her, tied her hands, and placed her under the blanket with her husband, who was bleeding severely.
After gang members pistol-whipped one victim and stabbed his wife, they used these electrical cables to bind the victims’ hands during the home invasion.
“They brutalized the couple,” said Special Agent Kelly Smith, who supervises the South Sound Gang Task Force—one of more than 160 FBI-led Safe Streets tasks forces nationwide—which handled the investigation out of the Bureau’s Seattle Division. “The level of violence and complete disregard for human life was astounding in this case,” he added.
That disregard for life became even more apparent as the home invasion continued. The robbers were in and out of the house carrying stolen items to their car when the husband regained consciousness. He was able to free himself and his wife, and with all three assailants temporarily outside, he locked the front door and the couple retreated to their bedroom, where he called 911 and retrieved his handgun.
The robbers forced their way back inside, firing a gunshot through the front door. Then they kicked down the locked bedroom door where the couple had barricaded themselves behind their bed. Confronted again by the attackers, the man fired two shots, hitting 19-year-old Taijon Vorhees both times.
At that point, all three robbers fled and drove away. And the two uninjured gang members—Duprea Wilson and Qiuordai Taylor, ages 19 and 17, respectively—decided to help themselves rather than their wounded friend.
“They didn’t want anything to do with taking him to a hospital,” said Jeff Martin, a Lakewood Police Department detective assigned to the South Sound Gang Task Force. “They drove around until he was unconscious, then dumped his body and left him to die. They basically pushed him right out of the car.”
The wounded teen did, in fact, die. The two other subjects were apprehended within 72 hours of the crime. At trial in February 2015, the two surviving defendants faced 11 state felony charges. One of the charges was manslaughter—for allowing their friend to die without seeking medical attention.
In March 2016 a jury found Wilson and Taylor guilty on all counts, and later that month a judge sentenced them each to 56 years in prison.
Smith, who has supervised the task force since 2012, credits his local, state, and federal partners, along with experienced Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office attorneys, with bringing the case to a successful conclusion.
As for the victims, Martin said they have mostly recovered from their physical injuries, but there are still emotional issues to contend with. “There are definitely lasting effects from the attack,” he said, “maybe effects that will last the rest of their lives.”
Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime. He has written extensively about organized crime, cyber crime, street crime, white collar crime, crime fiction, crime prevention, espionage and terrorism. His 'On Crime' column appears weekly in the Washington Times and his 'Crime Beat' column appears in Philadelphia Weekly. He is also a regular contributor to Counterterrorism magazine. His work has also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and other publications. As a writer, he has attended police academy training, gone out on patrol with police officers, accompanied detectives as they worked cases, accompanied narcotics officers on drug raids, observed criminal court proceedings, visited jails and prisons, and covered street riots, mob wars and murder investigations. He has interviewed police chiefs, FBI, DEA and other federal agents, prosecutors, public officials, Navy SEALs and other military special operators, Israeli commandos, British Scotland Yard detectives, CIA officers, journalists, novelists and true crime authors, and Cosa Nostra organized crime bosses. Paul Davis has been a student of crime since he was an aspiring writer growing up in South Philadelphia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 in 1970. He served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War and he later served two years aboard the Navy harbor tugboat U.S.S. Saugus at the U.S. floating nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland. He went on to do security work as a Defense Department civilian while working part-time as a freelance writer. He became a full-time writer in 2007. You can read his crime columns, crime fiction, book reviews and news and feature articles on this website. You can read his full bio by clicking on the above photo. And you can contact Paul Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org