Thirty-Seven Gang Members and Associates Sentenced in Large-Scale Racketeering and Drug Trafficking Case

The 37th and final defendant was sentenced today in a Northern District of Mississippi case that targeted the violent activities, drug trafficking, and money laundering of the Simon City Royals prison gang.

Joshua Miller, 33, of Jackson, Mississippi, was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in prison for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) conspiracy, including conspiracy to murder, related to his participation in the Simon City Royals.

“The Simon City Royals gang engaged in murder and torture and smuggled drugs and other contraband into prisons,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s sentencing of 37 gang members ends the gang’s reign of terror in the communities and prisons of Mississippi. This prosecution demonstrates the Justice Department’s resolve, along with our law enforcement partners, in holding violent criminal gang members to account.”

“Society simply cannot function if criminals and gangs are allowed to inflict violence on individuals and communities without consequences, and this years-long investigation and prosecution demonstrates that such criminality will not go unchecked,” said U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner for the Northern District of Mississippi. “I want to express extreme gratitude to our law enforcement partners for their tremendous efforts in putting an end to the reign of terror perpetrated by the Simon City Royals members and affiliates convicted in this case.”

According to court documents, the Simon City Royals were a violent prison gang operating primarily in the Mississippi Department of Corrections, but with members and associates acting on their behalf outside of prison throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, and elsewhere. Through their sophisticated structure and an alliance with the violent Gangster Disciples gang, the Simon City Royals engaged in a host of criminal activities, including murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, witness tampering, money laundering, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, large-scale drug trafficking, and fraud.

“This investigation shows the dedication of the ATF and its law enforcement partners to making our neighborhoods safer by disrupting and dismantling these violent gangs wherever they exist,” said Special Agent in Charge Joshua Jackson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) New Orleans. “We will continue to be aggressive in stopping their criminal activities, bringing them to justice, and making an impact on reducing violent crime in our communities.”

“This final sentencing shatters the myth of the Simon City Royals’ invincibility,” said Special Agent in Charge Steven L. Hofer of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Orleans Field Division. “Keeping our communities safe is the DEA’s unshakeable mission. This message goes out to all who peddle drugs and unleash gun violence: law enforcement is relentless. We will never stop, not on the streets, not behind bars. We will dismantle these violent gangs, bringing the full force of the federal government to bear, and ensure they no longer terrorize our communities.”

The Simon City Royals were responsible for the brutal murder of a prison inmate in 2018, when a Simon City Royals leader issued a “kill on sight” order, directing any gang member who encountered the targeted inmate to murder him. In January 2018, Dillon Heffker and Robert Williams acted on the order, stabbing the victim dozens of times with improvised prison knives. Leaders of the Simon City Royals rewarded Heffker and Williams for the murder by arranging for hundreds of dollars to be directed to their prison commissary accounts.

“In over 40 years of working with law enforcement and the State and federal courts in Mississippi, this case took as many serious offenders off the street as any I can remember,” said U.S. Marshal Daniel R. McKittrick. “Thanks to all the agencies that work together to try and keep our communities safe.”

“The U.S. Secret Service is committed to investigating and pursuing those who aim to exploit our nation’s financial systems in order to further a criminal enterprise,” said Resident Agent in Charge Kyle Smith of the U.S. Secret Service’s Jackson Resident Office. “Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement partners, a violent gang was dismantled and the individuals involved can now be held responsible for their crimes.”

The Simon City Royals were also responsible for the savage kidnapping and torture of a former gang member for perceived violations of the gang’s code of conduct. In 2015, a member of the Simon City Royals kidnapped the victim at knifepoint and forced him into a hotel room. There, Simon City Royals members and associates tied the victim to a chair, interrogated him, tortured him, and burned off his Simon City Royals tattoo.

In addition, the Simon City Royals engaged in widespread drug trafficking, including smuggling large quantities of methamphetamine, marijuana and synthetic marijuana, heroin, and benzodiazepines into dozens of Mississippi state prison facilities. The gang distributed these dangerous substances, including nearly 100% pure crystal methamphetamine, to inmates throughout the prison system.

Prior to Miller’s sentencing, his co-conspirators were sentenced to the following terms of imprisonment:

  • Allen Posey, 48, of Jackson, 20 years;
  • Jonathan Davis, 39, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, 30 years and five months;
  • Jeremy Holcombe, 43, of Meridian, Mississippi, 20 years;
  • Jonathan Burnett, 39, of Birmingham, Alabama, 22 years and six months;
  • Hank Chapman, 38, of Riply, Mississippi, three years;
  • Jason Hayden, 42, of Picayune, Mississippi, five years;
  • Gavin Pierson, 33, of San Diego, 21 years and 10 months;
  • Justin Shaw, 36, of Holly Springs, Mississippi, 25 years;
  • Bobby Brumfield, 44, of New Orleans, 15 years and eight months;
  • Jordan Deakles, 31, of Gulfport, Mississippi, two years and six months;
  • Bryce Francis, 43, of Columbus, Ohio, 15 years;
  • Anthony Murphy, 30, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 10 years;
  • Chancy Bilbo, 31, of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, 20 years;
  • Dillon Heffker, 32, of Bay St. Louis, 35 years;
  • Douglas Jones, 34, of Jackson, 19 years and seven months;
  • Cody Woodall, 31, of Gulfport, five years;
  • Michael Muscolino, 43, of Phoenix, five years;
  • Valerie Madden, 54, of Chicago, two years;
  • Samuel Conwill, 45, of Tupelo, Mississippi, time served of 20 months;
  • Jason Collins, 40, of Loraine, Ohio, five years;
  • Justin Leake, 43, of Meridian, 25 years;
  • Michael Dossett, 42, of Carriere, Mississippi, six years and six months;
  • Angel Labauve, 43, of Picayune, Mississippi, nine months;
  • Bruce Floyd, 42, of Senatobia, Mississippi, 10 years and five months;
  • Jacquelyn Harmon, 33, of Senatobia, one year and months;
  • Cody Myrick, 33, of Grenada, Mississippi, one year and eight months;
  • Craig Thomas, 36, of Grenada, two years and three months;
  • Arvis Tolbert, 43, of Hurley, Mississippi, three years;
  • Preston Edwards, 36, of Jackson, 21 years and 10 months;
  • Catherine Perry, 41, of Tupelo, five years;
  • John Brooks, 37, of Greenwood, Mississippi, 10 years;
  • Alana Dickey, 21, of Holly Springs, five years of probation;
  • Austin Ruby, 35, of Holly Springs, 10 years;
  • Chris Vincent, 20, of Gulfport, five years and two months;
  • Trevor Overby, 45, of Jackson, time served of 18 months; and
  • Anthony Rouse, 33, of Picayune, 10 years.

The ATF, DEA, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI Jackson Field Office, the Mississippi Department of Corrections, and dozens of local law enforcement agencies across multiple states investigated the cases, with valuable assistance from the Tupelo Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Benton County Sheriff’s Department, and Tippah County Sheriff’s Department.

Trial Attorney Ben Tonkin of the Criminal Division’s Violent Crime and Racketeering Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Stringfellow for the Northern District of Mississippi prosecuted the cases, with valuable assistance from former Assistant U.S. Attorney Annette Williams for the Southern District of Mississippi.

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