JACKSON, TN (WMC) - The highest-ranking member of the Gangster Disciples in Tennessee was sentenced to 30 years plus five years of supervised release for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
Byron Montrail Purdy, aka "Lil B" or "Ghetto," 38, of Jackson, Tennessee, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to participating in racketeering activity.
"Attorney General Sessions has made it clear," U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "that the top priority for the Department of Justice is violent crime reduction, and here in the Western District of Tennessee, we are vigorously pursuing that priority by using the full complement of government resources and partnering with local and state law enforcement to disrupt racketeering conspiracies and dismantle criminal gangs."
The Gangster Disciples is a highly organized national gang that's active in more than 24 states, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The gang protects its power through threats, intimidation, and violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault, and obstruction of justice.
According to his plea agreement released by the DOJ, Purdy was a ranking member of the Gangster Disciples, and at time of indictment and arrest on this case, served as the Governor for the State of Tennessee.
As the highest leader for the Gangster Disciples, Purdy directed other members and associates of the gang to carry out unlawful activities in furtherance of the conduct of the gang's affairs, the DOJ said. Purdy was responsible for coordinating criminal activities with other Gangster Disciples gang leaders throughout the United States, supervising the criminal activities of the gang, issuing orders to kill rivals and disobedient gang subordinates, and presiding over Gangster Disciples meetings.
Purdy, who was a member of the Gangster Disciples for approximately 20 years, also participated directly in the activities of the gang, including acts involving murder, kidnapping, assault, narcotics distribution, intimidation of witnesses, and weapons trafficking.