UPDATE 1:04 p.m.: Three men accused of being members of the Rollin’ 30s Crips — a gang that is reportedly responsible for two murders in Roanoke — were sentenced to a combined 113 years in prison on Monday, according to Virginia law enforcement leaders.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) says the following three alleged gang members were sentenced in federal court on Monday, Aug. 15:
- 31-year-old Sean Denzel Guerrant, the alleged leader of the criminal street gang, pleaded guilty in November 2021 to one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Officials say these two counts included responsibility for a murder, as well as a separate count involving a conspiracy to murder a different victim.
Guerrant — also known as ‘Harlem Denk’ — was sentenced to 37 years in prison.
- 21-year-old Trayvone Raycron Kasey pleaded guilty in July 2020 to federal racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death, interference with commerce by robbery, and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death.
Kasey was sentenced to 36 years in prison.
- 32-year-old Demonte Rashod Mack pleaded guilty in November 2021 to racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, and conspiracy to commit murder.
Mack was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.
In addition, officials tell WFXR News that 28-year-old Chauncey Dion Levesy pleaded guilty in August 2019 to racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, but he will not be sentenced until later this year.
According to the DOJ, Guerrant, Kasey, Levesy, and Mack were members of the Rollin’ 30s Crips, a national criminal street gang operating in cities across the U.S.
The department says the Roanoke set of the Rollin’ 30s — which also called itself the “Dirt Gang” — operated primarily in the northwestern part of the city, centered in and around the Lansdowne neighborhood.
Guerrant reportedly admitted that he, Kasey, Mack, Levesy, and others conspired to conduct a pattern of racketeering activity, including multiple threats and acts of violence.
More specifically, Guerrant ordered 17-year-old Nickalas Lee “to kill D.F. to atone for his violations and perceived disloyalty to the gang,” according to officials.
During the early morning hours on June 15, 2017, the DOJ says Kasey drove Lee to pick up “D.F.” while Levesy and Mack followed them to a nearby Roanoke apartment complex. After arriving at the complex, all but Levesy got out of their vehicles while “D.F.” reportedly ran away and hid, leaving Mack, Kasey, and Lee together in one of the parking areas.
After “D.F.” escaped — which he was able to do because Lee warned him that he was in danger — the department says Lee refused to hand his gun over to Kasey until Mack pointed his own gun at Lee and told him to give it up.
Once he handed his gun over to Kasey, Lee ran off, but Kasey and Mack chased him down and shot him twice in the back, killing him, authorities say.
Following the shooting, the DOJ tells WFXR News that Mack, Kasey, and Levesy returned to the gang’s “trap house” to meet up with Guerrant and other Rollin’ 30s gang members, at which time they told Guerrant about the incident.
Less than eight months later, on Feb. 9, 2018, the department says Kasey arranged to meet with 23-year-old Markel Girty of Roanoke, but when Girty arrived, Kasey leaned into the car, shot him once in the chest, and stole his belongings. Girty reportedly managed to drive away from the scene, but later died from the gunshot wound.
U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh joined other law enforcement leaders — as well as members of Lee’s family — in Roanoke on Tuesday, Aug. 16 to announce the sentencing of these alleged gang members.
“One of the highest priorities of the Department of Justice is the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes. Ensuring the safety of our neighbors is the cornerstone of a thriving and successful community. The three individuals sentenced today posed real threats to Roanoke’s safety, and this outcome holds them accountable for their crimes. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prosecute violent offenders in federal court and hold them to account for their crimes.”U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh for the Western District of Virginia
“The FBI and our law enforcement partners are working diligently to investigate and arrest violent offenders plaguing the Roanoke area. Today’s sentencing of these Rollin’ 30s street gang members is a testament to our partnerships and commitment to addressing violent crime in our communities. We encourage community partnerships in this endeavor and implore citizens to report violent crime to the FBI at 804-261-1044 or via tips.FBI.gov.”Special Agent in Charge Stanley M. Meador of the FBI’s Richmond Division
“This was a long, difficult case for this department and our community. Countless hours were poured into this investigation by members of the Roanoke Police Department. This case touched the lives and careers of many officers and detectives, who will never forget the young man who was murdered. While nothing we do will bring him back, we hope this outcome brings some peace to his family, friends and those who loved him. This outcome would not have happened without the successful partnerships between the Roanoke Police Department and our local, state and federal partners. These men are being held accountable for their actions, and Roanoke is a safer place as a result. This is a message to those in our community who choose to perpetuate gun violence and organized crime in our city: we will find you and do everything we can to hold you accountable for your actions.”Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman
“I am extremely proud of the men and women from all of these law enforcement agencies who put in the time and hard work to bring this complex case to a conclusion. These convictions and sentences hopefully send a strong message that neither Roanoke City nor the Roanoke Valley will serve as safe havens for violent gang activity and other lawless acts. This case is just the beginning of several ongoing efforts in the region and we will continue to put pressure on violent offenders and gangs in order to once again make our community a place where families and law-abiding citizens can feel safe. Only through working together can we make a difference.”Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent
This case was reportedly investigated by the Roanoke Police Department and the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force reportedly — along with assets from Virginia State Police; the Roanoke County Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — and then prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Miller, Coleman Adams, and Michael Baudinet.
According to the DOJ, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that unites all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve in order to reduce violent crime and gun violence, as well as make neighborhoods safer.
In May 2021, the department says it launched a violent crime reduction strategy to strengthen PSN based on the following core principles:
- Fostering trust and legitimacy in communities
- Supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place
- Setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities
- Measuring the results
You can watch Tuesday’s full news conference about the Rollin’ 30s Crips sentencing below:
ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia law enforcement leaders are set to join the family of Nickalas Lee in Roanoke Tuesday morning in order to discuss the sentences for several accused members of the Rollin’ 30s gang.
Officials tell WFXR News these alleged gang members are reportedly responsible for murders in Roanoke.
In addition to the Rollin’ 30s sentencing, the Department of Justice (DOJ) says authorities will discuss the impact of violent crime on the Star City community.
According to the DOJ, U.S. Attorney Christopher Kavanaugh, FBI Special Agent in Charge Stanley Meador, Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman, Virginia State Police Capt. Jeffrey Bartlett, and Lee’s family are set to attend Tuesday’s event in Roanoke.
This is a developing story.
Note: The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia originally told WFXR News that Nickalas Lee’s name was spelled as Nikolas Lee, but later provided a corrected spelling. This story has been updated with the new spelling.