Six gang members indicted for prison attack

The men are allegedly members of the Simon City Royals gang.

Six gang members indicted for prison attack
Photo courtesy of WTOK-TV

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Six alleged members of the Simon City Royals were charged in a two-count indictment stemming from a violent prison stabbing that occurred at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility located in Meridian.

Three of them had street names: Big Boi, Lil One, and Sir Flute. Their real names are Wilton Johnson, Jeremy Smith, and James Vaughn, respectively. The other three allegedly involved are Carl McMillian, Justin Hannah, and Joe Johnson.

The indictment was returned by a grand jury on April 23 and unsealed Tuesday. All the defendants appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Sanders on Monday and are scheduled for arraignments and detention hearings on Thursday, May 23 at 2:30 p.m.

Court documents show the men are accused of assaulting two different victims “with a dangerous weapon, which resulted in serious bodily injury” in order to further themselves within the gang.

A release from William C. Lamar, the Northern U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, did not elaborate on the stabbing, but went into detail about the Simon City Royals.

“The prosecution of violent crime, and those individuals who perpetrate it, is a top priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners,” Lamar said. "We will continue to devote our time, efforts, and resources to the investigation and prosecution of those gangs who threaten our citizens and communities with their illegal activities.”

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives is often in the middle of gang investigations around the state as gangs and gun violence can be closely linked.

“ATF and our law enforcement partners are committed to reducing violent crime in the state of Mississippi," said William McCrary, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for ATF, New Orleans Field Division. “These indictments are an example of our ongoing commitment to dismantling violent gangs.”

The court documents and the release detailed much about the gang in order to show the connection between the men, the crime with which they’re accused, and the charges.

The Simon City Royals are a national gang with an organized structure. The gang is broken into geographic reasons and there are boards and ambassadors who control each area.

The crimes perpetrated by Simon City Royals have been wide-ranging and violent.

“The gang protects its power and operation through threats, intimidation and violence, including murder, attempted murder, identity fraud and obstruction of justice,” the release reads.

The Simon City Royals are in the “Folk Nation,” an alliance of gangs which originated in Chicago. It also includes the Gangster Disciples. Both gangs are prevalent both on the streets and in prisons in Mississippi, and many of their leaders are incarcerated, authorities said. The Gangster Disciples and Simon City Royals form hierarchies inside the facilities.

The Simon City Royals are connected, or “plugged in” to the national SCR organization and submit reports to national leaders daily about security threats, money, and members who have had to be disciplined.

The case is being investigated by a multi-agency task force consisting of ATF agents and investigators with the Mississippi Department of Corrections. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Stringfellow of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Mississippi, and Christopher Taylor from the Department of Justice, Organized Crime and Gang Section.

Copyright 2019 WLBT. All rights reserved.