Leaders of street gang Gangster Disciples sentenced to prison

January 25, 2021

By a Biometrica staffer

January 25, 2021

Two leaders of the Gangster Disciples, a national street gang with roots in Chicago, were sentenced on Friday for a racketeering conspiracy involving murder.

Shauntay Craig, 42, was sentenced to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in August 2019 to racketeering conspiracy involving murder and drug trafficking. Donald Glass, 30, was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison after he was convicted by a federal jury in May 2019 of racketeering conspiracy involving murder, discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, causing death through the use of a firearm for the murder of Robert Dixon, and other firearms crimes.

Highly structured, with a hierarchy of leadership posts known as “Positions of Authority” or “POAs”, the gang dates back to the 1970s and strictly prohibits cooperating with law enforcement. Violations of the rule are punishable by death. Between 2011 and 2015, the gang was responsible for 24 shootings, including 12 murders.

Homicides and shootings spiked dramatically in Chicago in 2020, ending with more bloodshed than in all but one year in more than two decades, statistics released by police showed, according to an AP report published on Jan. 2. There were 769 homicides in 2020 — 274 more than the previous year and the most since 784 in 2016.

“Members of the Gangster Disciples left a trail of death and destruction across Georgia and much of the United States,” a Department of Justice press statement quoted Bobby L. Christine, Acting U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Georgia, as saying. “The sentence for these two gang leaders sends a resounding message to those who seek to inflict irreparable harm on their communities in furtherance of a violent gang.  It should reassure citizens that we will use every asset we have to abolish gang activity.”

Craig (aka “Shake”) was the Board Member of Gangster Disciples, the highest-ranking position in the gang, and was responsible for orchestrating the murder of a government informant in Colorado. “As leaders of the Gangster Disciples, these defendants terrorized communities across the country by engaging in, and ordering others to engage in, multiple acts of violence, including murder,” said Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

“The significant sentences imposed upon defendant Craig for his national leadership role in the gang, and defendant Glass for his creation of an army of teenagers who shot and killed indiscriminately, demonstrate that even the most sophisticated and ruthless gangs are no match for the coordinated efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement,” McQuaid added.

Glass (aka “Smurf”) led the H.A.T.E. Committee, a specialized enforcement team within the gang that committed numerous murders, shootings, and robberies. Glass’ gang of teenage shooters, including a juvenile he was grooming to be an assassin, have been ordered by him to shoot and kill over 10 people so far.

Last November, Vancito Gumbs, a former DeKalb County police officer who moonlighted for the gang, was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release, for racketeering conspiracy involving murder. A self-professed “hitman” while serving as a police officer, Gumbs had relayed law enforcement information to the gang and provided a firearm to a fellow member.

According to the Chicago Police Department, 79 officers were shot at in 2020, compared with 22 who were fired upon the year before, the AP report in early Jan. added. The number of officers who were struck by bullets doubled from five in 2019 to 10 in 2020.