DETROIT (WXYZ) — The feds are giving us a rare, in-depth look at organized crime inside Detroit's street gangs. They are violent, deadly, and in some cases even bragging online.
With the help of Detroit agents with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, ATF, we can show you how they recruit, conduct business, make money, declare gang wars and threaten anyone who gets in their way. We’ve obtained actual gang videos from cases busted by the ATF.
Members proudly recorded themselves in the gangster life. One of the ATF agents helping us tell you this story infiltrates the gangs under cover.
He says, “We know they’re shooters. While you’re investigating a gang, you’ll see sometimes people that get killed or robbed and there’s really, at that time, nothing you can do about it.”
That’s because it can take months or years to develop a case. And the cases they take to court include charges of Racketeering, Murder, Attempted Murder, Robbery, Car Jacking, Home Invasion, Drugs and Guns.
The ATF brings manpower and money to the war on the streets, teaming up with Detroit and other cops. How?
“Covert operations and tactical operations that are very dangerous. They may not have enough money to buy, to purchase evidence, drugs and guns,” says Jonathan Ortiz, ATF Supervisory Special Agent in Detroit.
The gangs go by names. Here’s a list past and present:
- Bounty Hunter Bloods
- Avon Gangsters
- Seven Mile Bloods
- Hustle Boys
- East Warren
- Six Mile Chedda
- Gutta Boys
- Maxout 220
- Hustle Hard
- Norton Shores
- Young and Scandalous
- Latin Counts
- Vice Lords
- Latin Kings
- Playboy Gangster Crips
Exactly how many are there out there?
“I would definitely say it’s in the hundreds,” says the Undercover ATF Special Agent.
The videos they’ve obtained in their investigations show how young teen fight to get into the gangs. Another video shows off the firepower they obtain.
Handwritten bylaws were discovered with code names and a pledge, that states, “Devotion to my leader until my death.”
Some gang members produce rap music videos talking about their life on the streets, and some have promises of violence. Those help the ATF pick which cases to investigate. Some of the cases we outlined are closed cases with convictions and others are gang members with pending criminal cases.
The ATF also picks cases where violence has become too much, “When we have members of the community who are afraid to walk to church because bullets are flying on a Sunday morning, that’s a problem,” says ATF Supervisory Special Agent Ortiz.
Corey Bailey, AKA Sonny, AKA Cocaine Sonny was convicted by a Detroit Federal Court Jury of six counts including Racketeering Conspiracy, Murder in aid of Racketeering, and Attempted Murder. He is federal custody and will be sentenced on June 11. He is facing life in prison, and has been spared the death penalty. His case was connected with several others in Federal Court.