30-Year Sentence for Heroin Gang Leader

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:


CHICAGO — A leader of the New Breeds street gang who controlled heroin trafficking in a 12-square block area on the west side near Pulaski Road and Van Buren Street for nearly a decade was sentenced to 38 years in federal prison following a two-day sentencing hearing in Federal Court.

The defendant, Dana Bostic, controlled a faction of the New Breeds, which intertwined lucrative heroin trafficking with acts of violence and was regularly “at war” with rival gangs, including the Undertaker Vice Lords and Four Corner Hustlers.

Bostic, 33, also known as “Bird” and “Mello,” had a reputation for violence since he was arrested for the murder of a rival gang member in 2002, and his willingness to “green light” violence and murder solidified his authority in his territory.

Yet, even as those closest to him were killed or went to prison, Bostic remained on the street and in control of a criminal organization that earned thousands of dollars a day in heroin sales.

Bostic “was involved in an organization that used violence from time to time to accomplish whatever goals it thought were appropriate,” U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly said in imposing the 456-month prison term on Friday in U.S. District Court.

Bostic, who was arrested in August 2010, admitted being the leader of a heroin trafficking organization when he pleaded guilty in February this year, but he denied committing or directing acts of violence and murder.

Bostic was held responsible for distributing up to 30 kilograms of heroin from 2009 until he was arrested in 2010, but Judge Kennelly noted that the amount was actually far greater over the course of a decade.

The government argued at sentencing that Bostic authorized shootings and a murder in retaliation for being shot himself and the murder of his brother, Curtis Ellis, on Aug. 18, 2008, outside a River North nightclub and fast food restaurant.

Three days later, Davon Taylor was killed because of his association with people who were perceived to have been involved in shooting Bostic and killing Ellis.

In a sentencing memo, federal prosecutors wrote:

“For those in the territory under his control, Bostic decided what was right and what was wrong, who was rewarded and who was punished, without regard to the law or the justice system. [. . .] Kilogram after kilogram of Bostic’s heroin made its way into the veins of addicts year after year as dollar after dollar returned to Bostic and his organization.”

Bostic and more than two dozen other members, associates and suppliers of his New Breeds faction were arrested in August 2010, following an investigation that was part of a sustained, coordinated effort by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to dismantle the leadership of Chicago’s highly-organized, and often violent, drug trafficking street gangs.

The investigation employed wiretaps, cooperating witnesses, undercover surveillance and drug transactions, and a steady progression of searches and seizures of evidence.

All of the other co-defendants were also convicted and most were sentenced previously.

Bostic and his co-defendants controlled “an open air drug market” in the area bordered by Pulaski, Kostner, Jackson and Congress Parkway. A gas station and a grocery store were among the alleged drug “spots” in the vicinity where Bostic’s organization sold heroin.

Members of Bostic’s drug organization met customers near busy city transit stations, providing a lucrative market with all of the drug spots together taking in as much as $10,000 per day.

The sales consisted primarily of “dime bags,” or small plastic bags or tinfoil wrappers that contained approximately 0.1 gram of heroin each and sold for $10 per unit.

The New Breeds street gang originated in the late 1980s and early 1990s, initially as a splinter group from the Black Gangsters (one of the three factions of the original Black Gangster Disciples, the other two being the Gangster Disciples and the Black Disciples.)

The New Breeds ultimately absorbed the Black Gangsters back into the gang, operating under the new name.

The sentence was announced by Gary S. Shapiro, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, together with Jack Riley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the DEA; Garry F. McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department; and Anita Alvarez, Cook County State’s Attorney. The investigation was conducted under the umbrella of U.S. Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), and with assistance from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA).

The government is being represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Megan Church, Bethany Biesenthal and Yasmin Best.

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