Violent street gang member sentenced to 15 years
By Julia Cheever
June 13, 2007
A member of a violent San Francisco street gang who admitted
to aiding in a 2004 murder was sentenced in federal court today
to 15 years in prison.
Rickey Rollins, 21, is the last to be sentenced among eight members
of the so-called Down Below Gang who pleaded guilty to various
charges before U.S. District Judge William Alsup in December.
Four other gang members, including two who may face a possible
death penalty if convicted, are awaiting a not-yet-scheduled trial.
Prosecutors have said the gang operated in the Sunnydale housing
project in the city's Visitacion Valley District and that it sold
crack cocaine and used violence and intimidation to enforce its
Rollins pleaded guilty before Alsup on Dec. 4 to a charge of
conspiring to participate in a racketeering organization.
As part of the guilty plea, he admitted that his racketeering
acts included aiding in the murder of Beverly Robinson, a non-gang
member who lived in the Sunnydale project and was believed by
gang members to have a "hot" gun used in a recent homicide.
Rollins said in the agreement that while he was not among those
who shot at Robinson on April 15, 2004, he assisted other gang
members in chasing Robinson outside his apartment and Robinson's
death was a "foreseeable result."
Rollins also admitted to racketeering acts of robbery, possessing
crack cocaine and marijuana with the intent to sell them, and
conspiring to murder members of a rival gang known as "Up
The 15-year sentence, which was handed down by Alsup, was agreed
to in Rollins's plea bargain with prosecutors.
The 12 gang members were indicted by a federal grand jury in
2005. Of the four who are awaiting trial, Emile Fort, 26, and
Edgar Diaz, 22, may face a possible federal death penalty if convicted
of charges of racketeering-related murders.
Prosecutors told Alsup at a hearing May 15 that the U.S. Department
of Justice has not yet decided whether to authorize them to seek
a death penalty for those two defendants.
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