Chicago’s notorious Hobos “super gang” Found guilty
The murder trial has begun for seven alleged members of Chicago’s notorious Hobo gang.
The dangerous ‘super gang’ terrorized the city’s streets for a decade until 2013 , threatening violence or even death to anyone who dared stand in the way of their drugs trade, police say.
Nine deaths have been linked to to the Hobos- including the murder of a gang member’s own brother, the Chicago Sun Times reports.
Other victims include two gang rivals who had just attended a funeral, a police informant, a semi-pro basketball player, an innocent bystander and an elderly woman killed in a car crash as a Hobo fled police.
The murder trial has begun for seven alleged members of Chicago’s notorious Hobo gang. Pictured, from left to right, Paris Poe wearing the black White Sox hat and black T-shirt, Stanley Vaughn in a white T-shirt, Gabriel Bush wearing a black T-shirt with a cross chain, Arnold Council to the far right with the grey Marithe Francoise Girbaud T-shirt, and Gregory Chester standing behind him – looking over his shoulder
The Hobo’s notorious leader Gregory ‘Bowlegs’ Chester – nicknamed for his birth defect – is the lead defendant in the trial, Chicago Tribune reports.
The trial, presided over by U.S. District John J. Tharp Jr., is expected to last months and has sparked serious security concerns for witnesses and those around the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
Jurors will be kept anonymous when selection begins tomorrow and the judge has ordered black skirting to be erected around the defendant’s seating area in case he is forced to reassess his decision not to shackle those on trial.
The U.S. Marshals agency is currently investigating alleged threats made towards witnesses under federal protection.
The Hobos began more than a decade ago, founded – as the legends go – with the simple words: ‘Man, we Hobo. Hobos ‘just sleep and rob.’ Once they joined, Hobos would have the gang name tattooed alongside their slogan ‘The Earth Is Our Turf.’
Nine murders have been linked to to the gang. Pictured is Paris Poe and the Hobo’s notorious leader Gregory ‘Bowlegs’ Chester
Gang tattoos: Chester’s ‘Hobo’ tattoos while Poe’s declare he is ‘Chief Hobo’
Paris Poe also has a back tattoo with the Hobos’ slogan: ‘The Earth Is Our Turf’
The name is thought to have arisen as many members, joining from gangs such as the Gangster Disciples and the Black Disciples, came from the now-demolished Robert Taylor and Ida B. Wells public housing complexes.
The Hobos represented something the authorities had never seen before – a ‘super gang’ made up of rival gang members – who came to dominate Chicago’s drugs trade.
Police blame the heavily armed street gang for soaring violence rate during their decade in power, as members are accused of multiple murders, torture, and even threatening a police officer inside a courthouse.
They also face charges of robbing an NBA player Bobby Simmons at gunpoint in June 2006 outside a River North nightclub – stealing a white gold necklance worth more than $200,000.
In fact, no other gang have faced the same number of serious violent charges since the infamous El Rukns 20 years ago.
Gabriel Bush and William Ford are both linked with the dangerous Chicago gang
Police say gang member Arnold Council (left) defended the murder of his informant brother Daniels, while Byron Brown, 29, (right) is already serving 25 years in state prison for murder
The seven Hobo gang members are linked to nine murders including the killing of two police informants.
Keith Daniels, the brother of gangster Arnold Council, was killed in 2013 after he dared turn snitch against Chester, police say. After his brother’s death, Council allegedly defended Daniel’s murder saying it should be an example for other family members.
The 27-year-old Daniels, who had been relocated to suburban Dolton for his own safety, had been pulling into his driveway with his wife and young kids in the car when he was mowed down in a sea of bullets.
Daniels’ wife told police she instantly recognized the shooter as a man named ‘Poleroski’ – the gang name for member Paris Poe, 27.
Poe is said to have hacked off his electronic monitoring anklet to track down Daniels before murdering him in front of his family, prosecutors say.
The younger child, aged just four during the shooting, told authorities in 2013 that the ‘Boogie Man’ who killed their stepfather had been wearing a Spiderman mask – which conflicts with their mother’s account.
However, prosecutors have objected to the defense calling the child and their sibling to the witness stand as they say they are not competent to stand because of their age.
Victims: Elderly driver Tommye Ruth Freeman was killed in July 2008 when a gangster crashed into her car, while Keith Daniels was gunned down when the gang discovered he was working as an informant
Poe is also linked to the death of another informant – drug dealer Wilbert Moore – who was murdered outside a barbershop in January 2006 after the gang learned he was working with the authorities.
He is one of seven alleged Hobos on trial this week for the nine killings as well as countless shootings, robberies and home invasions.
Cops say ‘Poleroski’ is also responsible for the death of an innocent bystander Kevin Thompson who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time during a shoot out between the Hobos and a rival gang.
Feared gang leader Chester was shot multiple times by the rivals in September 2006 while at a Chicago car wash, and Poe fired back, hitting Thompson, according to prosecutors. Thompson had traveled to Chicago from LA to visit relatives to celebrate his 42nd birthday.
Poe faces life in jail if convicted.
Federal prosecutors say Chester is the ‘undisputed’ leader of the Hobos – establishing his street rep early on with a series of armed robberies with fellow gang member Gabriel Bush in the 1990s.
Bush also stands on trial with the gang alongside fellow suspected members Stanley Vaughn and William Ford.
While Chester may have been the gang leader, Poe is accused of some of the most horrific crimes on trial.
Aside from the multiple murders, Poe – who has a misspelled tattoo which reads ‘Cheif Hobo’ has admitted to his part in the home invasion and torture of two suspected drug dealers in 2009.
The brothers were forced to the floor, gagged and burned with an iron during the attack. Covered with a comforter, the men were threatened by the gangsters who claimed they knew when they picked up their children from school. Another home invader threatened to set them on fire.
The victims told police the assault only ended when one of the gang, who had been holding what sounded like a police scanner, suddenly shouted ‘Let’s go!’
During a recorded jail call, Chester once described the gang member as: ‘This motherf***er crazy. Poe. Poe. He crazy.’
The Hobos are also linked to the death of semi-pro basketball player Eddie Moss Jr., 24, who had flown back to Chicago from Portugal for the funeral of his mother.
He was gunned down outside his parents’ home in Englewood, execution style, in what police say was a case of mistaken identity.
Prosecutors say Hobo member Byron Brown had ordered the basketball player onto the ground and emptied his pistol into Moss, mistakenly believing he was a member of a rival gang.
Brown has already been convicted of another gang-related death – elderly driver Tommye Ruth Freeman- who was killed in July 2008 when the gangster sped through a red light and crashed into her car as he fled from police.
He was sentenced to 25 years in jail in 2012 but could now face additional charges.
Chester, 39, was the only defendant to testify, insisting the Hobos gang didn’t even exist despite his full-arm tattoo emblazoned with the words: “Hobo: The Earth is Our Turf.” And he said the supposed “Hobos horns” gang sign he flashed in photographs was merely a universal sign of celebration.
Chester, born with a rare bone disease that has badly deformed his legs, scoffed when asked if someone who struggled to even walk could head a gang. “A crippled gang leader?” he answered. “No, sir.”
Prosecutor Timothy Storino told jurors Chester led “not with his legs but with his head,” calling him “smart as hell.” Chester relied on others, sometimes children, to do the dirty work, prosecutors said.
Chester said he grew up poor in the now-demolished Robert Taylor projects where “only the strong survived” and faced ridicule because of his rickets, a bone deformity caused by nutritional deficiencies.
He described himself a “hustler” who dealt heroin, then smartly invested into record labels and clubs. He said the other five charged had nothing to do with his crimes and he had nothing to do with theirs.