Brandon Durell Hardison, age 31, and Maurice Duncan Burks, also age 31, face murder charges with the possibility of being executed if convicted on criminal counts leveled against the Gangster Disciples in a federal Nashville, TN, grand jury indictment handed down on June 30. According to U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, the gang has been a “menace” for over four decades and remains a “threat” in 35 states.

The 40-count indictment followed a multi-state investigation and led to the arrest of Hardison, Burks, and nine additional alleged Gangster Disciples members on Friday in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida.

The 11 defendants are charged with multiple murders, evolving from having conspired in a racketeering enterprise that involved drug crimes and firearms, according to the U.S. Attorney, Middle District of Tennessee, as well as the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Criminal offenses span 17 years, allegedly committed by 11 gang members

Allegations of on-going criminal offenses extend from 2005 until the present and include organizational meetings that entailed crime planning activities; drug distribution, firearms offenses, violent assaults, and murder. The gang in middle Tennessee is also believed to have usually recruited members from within jail and prison populations, as well as from within an area neighborhood.

According to Sessions, combatting violent gangs, such as the Gangster Disciples, is a “high priority.” He said 10 law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation. Federal, state, and local law enforcement commenced the takedown of the alleged conspirators, as well as executed a number of search warrants in areas where the defendants live – around Clarksville, TN, and Murfreesboro, TN.

The defendants’ charges evolve from alleged criminal activities that date back “over a decade,” asserted Jack Smith, Acting U.S. Attorney, Middle District, TN. Hardison, for instance, is alleged to have murdered an associate gang member, and his witness girlfriend, on January 6, 2012. Afterward, he is also accused of enlisting additional Gangster Disciples members to “dispose of” the weapon he used to murder the couple.

The indictment contends that Hardison, of Madison, TN, committed the killings to affect his standing within the gang.

The Gangster Disciples, according to the indictment, operate under the national leadership of a board-style corporation. Members at the helm of the gang, founded in Chicago, invoke decisions for the gang on a national level. Subordinate members, in turn, are responsible for geographic-specific regions and resulting decisions that affect criminal activities.

The who’s who of alleged gang members named in indictment

The alleged gang members are believed to be accountable for attacking a rival member of the Bloods gang. The contention, the charge states, is that on November 3, 2012, Hardison, Burks, Xavier Raphael Jenkins, age 29 and from Clarksville, TN, along with Marcus Termaine Darden, age 38 and from Guthrie, KY, plotted and assaulted a Bloods, gang member.

Hardison and Jenkins are accused of the actual assault. Burks, according to the indictment, shot and killed that gang member inside a Clarksville, TN< nightclub.

August of 2014, the following alleged Gangster Disciples members are accused of conspiring to murder, which resulted in shooting four members of the rival Vice Lords gang in Clarksville, TN: 28-year-old Lamar Andre Warfield, Guthrie, KY; 32-yearold Derrick Lamar Kilgore, TN; and, 33-year-old Lawrence Mitchell, Clarksville, TN.

In an unrelated crime committed December 2014, the indictment claims that DeCarlos Titington, age 41, from Clarksville, TN, also attempted to kill two Vice Lords gang members by shooting them. The point in the shootings was so he defendant would reportedly not only maintain but also elevate Titington’s stature in the Gangster Disciples.

Darden, Warfield, Titington, Burks, Brown, Mitchell, Lucas, Kilgore, along with 32-year-old Rex Andrew Warlock, Clarksville, TN, are cited in the indictment’s drug distribution conspiracy.

Along with the drug distribution and RICO conspiracies, Burks and Hardison are charged with two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, along with related firearms crimes, and Hardison with witness tampering. Warfield, Titington, Kilgore, and Mitchell, according to the indictment, are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and assault in aid of racketeering, and related firearms charges, evolving from shootings of rival gang members. Titington, Kilgore, Brown, and Darden are also accused of distributing drugs.

Outcome of law enforcement's war on gangs

The defendants, if they are convicted, face possible maximum sentencings spanning ten years to life sentences in prison, with the additional possibility of death for Burks and Hardison.

The prosecution is the next step, according to Smith, in a “sustained effort” aimed at dismantling the gang in Middle Tennessee. Meanwhile, Steve Gerido, ATF Special Agent in Charge, said the ATF’s priority to reduce violence resulting from firearms is evidenced by the takedown – the 40-count indictment and arrests of 11 alleged Gangster Disciples.