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Alleged leader of Roxbury street gang sentenced to 15 years in prison on federal drug charges

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  December 27, 2012 03:50 PM

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A man who allegedly led a violent Roxbury street gang for more than a decade pleaded guilty to federal drug charges and was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison followed by five years of supervised released, authorities said.

Owens Brown, 34, ruled the Academy Homes gang, which is named for the housing development it is based in and has fought for years with rival gangs in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain, according to the US Attorney’s office.

In July, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base from March 2007 through May 2011, officials said.

During that time, he allegedly distributed more than four kilograms of crack cocaine throughout the South End, Dorchester, and Roxbury, prosecutors said.

Brown received his prison sentence for the drug charges last week.

Authorities allege that in his role as gang leader, Brown also supplied members of his gang with guns, which were used in shootings across Massachusetts that sometimes were fatal.

As the leader, “he used his influence to enlist younger members of the gang to act as runners, distributing drugs and collecting proceeds to and from waiting customers, and running stash houses located throughout Boston,” prosecutors said in a statement.

"Brown’s use of young gang members was strategic as it allowed him to thwart law enforcement for over a decade,” the statement continued. “Brown’s perceived success gave him almost unbridled influence over younger gang members seeking his approval and sparked years of gun violence between rival gang members.”

In 2007, Luis Gerena Jr., an innocent 13-year-old boy, was fatally shot during a feud between the Academy Homes gang and another based at the Bromley-Health housing development, which is located near where Jamaica Plain and Roxbury meet, according to past statements from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

In 1994, Jermaine Goffigan, an innocent 9-year-old boy, was killed when a gun battle broke out between two gangs at the Academy Homes development.

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