a seven-week jury trial in U.S. District Court earlier this year, a
federal jury convicted five members of the Gangster Disciples of
multiple counts relating to a racketeering conspiracy and a drug
distribution conspiracy, which plagued the Clarksville, Tennessee, area
with violence and murders for more than a decade, announced Assistant
Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s
Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District
Marcus Termaine Darden, aka, “Tuff,” 41, and Elance Justin Lucas,
aka, “Mac Luke,” 30, both of Guthrie, Kentucky; Derrick Lamar Kilgore,
aka, “Smut,” 35, and DeCarlos Titington, aka, “Los,” 44, both of
Clarksville, Tennessee, were convicted at trial.
Following sentencing hearings that began last week and concluded
today, Chief U.S. District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr. sentenced
Darden, Kilgore, Titington and Lucas to 40 years, 35 years, 22.5 years,
and 20 years in prison, respectively.
Of the 12 individuals charged in this conspiracy, five previously
pleaded guilty, including Rex Whitlock, aka “Stackhouse,” 34, of
Clarksville, who was sentenced in January to 30 years in federal prison,
and Lorenzo Brown, aka “Zo,” of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who was
sentenced in November to 15 years in federal prison.
According to evidence and testimony at trial, the defendants are all
members of the Gangster Disciples, a criminal organization that
originated in Chicago and spread through the midwestern and eastern
United States. During a portion of the conspiracy, Darden was the
“regent” of the “615 region” of the Gangster Disciples, making him the
highest-ranking member of the gang in the middle Tennessee area. In that
role, Darden exercised control over Gangster Disciples activities in
Clarksville, Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Gallatin, among other cities.
Darden also reported to a statewide “governor” of the Gangster
Members of the Gangster Disciples criminal enterprise engaged in acts
of violence including murder, attempted murder, witness intimidation,
and obstruction of justice. These members also sold powder cocaine,
crack cocaine, marijuana, and other controlled substances, and exercised
control over certain territories in Clarksville. As part of the
conspiracy, each defendant agreed that a member would commit at least
two acts of racketeering activity for the Gangster Disciples.
The evidence at trial proved that the defendants and other members of
the Gangster Disciples murdered members of the rival Bloods gang in
Clarksville, including Hairston, in September 2007. The evidence also
showed that, in January 2006, and as part of the Gangster Disciples’
effort to consolidate power in Clarksville, Darden shot a rival Crips
gang member, who was life-flighted to Vanderbilt Medical Center for
treatment. In December 2007, Darden also shot an unarmed person in the
parking lot of a nightclub because that individual had “disrespected”
him. These defendants were also responsible for a drive-by shooting in
Clarksville in August 2014, targeting members of the rival Vice Lords
gang. During this shooting, members of the Gangster Disciples,
including Kilgore, rode through a residential neighborhood and began
firing AK-47 style assault weapons. During this incident, four innocent
bystanders, including a 16-year-old, were struck by gunfire and were
transported to a local hospital for treatment. One woman was shot three
times in the abdomen and suffered serious, life threatening injuries.
Titington also attempted to shoot and kill two members of the rival
Vice Lords gang after a brawl inside a convenience store in Clarksville
in December 2014. During this incident, Titington fired 14 rounds from a
Glock semi-automatic handgun, striking a vehicle occupied by rival Vice
Lord gang members. Titington pleaded guilty to this conduct in state
court, and although he was acquitted of federal attempted murder in aid
of racketeering charges in connection with this conduct, he was
convicted on a racketeering conspiracy charge which encompassed this
These violent acts were intended to further the gang’s activities and
maintain and increase a member’s position within the organization.
Evidence at trial also established that the defendants engaged in
witness intimidation through violence or threats of violence, and
prevented or deterred individuals from cooperating with law enforcement.
Additionally, the government introduced evidence and testimony showing
that law enforcement officers conducted undercover buys of cocaine and
crack cocaine from Darden, Burks, Kilgore and Lucas between 2010 and
2015. During this investigation, law enforcement also seized numerous
firearms, controlled substances, and other contraband.
This extensive investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Tennessee Bureau of
Investigation; the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office; the Clarksville
Police Department; the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office; the
Murfreesboro Police Department; the Gallatin Police Department; the
Kentucky State Police; the 19th Judicial District Drug Task Force; and
the Hopkinsville, Kentucky Police Department. Assistant United States
Attorney Ben Schrader of the Middle District of Tennessee and Trial
Attorneys Shauna Hale and Ivana Nizich of the Criminal Division’s
Organized Crime and Gang Section, are prosecuting the case.