Six members of a District gang who police said had beaten and robbed residents in busy areas of Chinatown, Dupont Circle and U Street pleaded guilty to various charges of robbery and assault in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday.
Members of the crew, which went by the name “Show Out,” have been charged with a number of attacks since January 2012. Authorities said the members would canvas city streets looking for victims to attack, rob or both. They would also engage in “flash mob” style robberies of drug stores, gas stations and convenience stores in which multiple gang members flooded into the businesses at the same time in an effort to overwhelm and intimidate the staff and then steal items. Sometimes they would even attack homeless people, authorities said.
In November, police announced the indictment of nine of the members. In court Tuesday, six of them — Bernard Trowell, 19; Deandre M. Williams, 19; Quayshawn L. Leggett, 20; James D. Matheny, 19; Ricardo J. Williams, 20; and Travis L. Morris, 20 — all pleaded guilty to charges of assault, robbery and being members of a street gang. All six remain in D.C. jail.
Prosecutors said two other members had pleaded guilty earlier, and a third member of the crew is being sought.
Sentencing is scheduled before Judge Lynn Leibovitz on May 10. The defendants face maximum sentences of between 15 and 48 years in prison.
“Today’s guilty pleas by six members of the Show Out Crew should serve as a warning to young people tempted by the lure of gang life,” U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said in a statement. “This violent group took pleasure in targeting innocent victims for beatings and robberies. As a result of the decision to participate in this crew violence, each of these criminals — none older than twenty — will now spend many years behind bars. This prosecution demonstrates our clear resolve to crush the gangs that terrorize our city.”
At the time of the indictment, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the gang members also belonged to another crew made up primarily of gay and bisexual teenagers.