RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A total of eight members of the criminal street gang High Society Hit Squad (H$2X) have been sentenced in connection to drug and firearms charges.
In 2017, in response to increased violence in Petersburg, ATF agents and police began an investigation into the trafficking of firearms and narcotics, as well as other violent criminal activity. A group of individuals, who were later identified as members of H$2X, were suspected of being involved in trafficking narcotics and firearms.
Federal authorities partnered with state officials and Petersburg Police to get 60 guns and ammo off the streets.
"These guns were shot in streets where families and children were located. They were used to shoot into vehicles. They were used to shoot into occupied dwellings in homicides and assaults with intent to kill,” said Ashan Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF.
Many of them were recovered from some eight gang members affiliated with a group that calls themselves the High Society Hit Squad.
"These 60 firearms, they weren’t just possessed, they were discharged in our community,” Benedict added.
Tuesday, 39-year-old Miles Johnson – also known as Buck J – was sentenced to 12 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.
"Gang members and associates of the High Society Hit Squad are responsible of pushing poison through the veins of that community, infecting their own and preying upon their neighbors,” said U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger.
Buck J had nearly 40 other convictions in his lifetime. Authorities say he had numerous opportunities to turn his life around but didn’t. Now they’re ready to lock up others who are following in his footsteps.
"We will not rest until our communities are safe for all,” Benedict said.
The U.S. Attorney says Buck J trafficked over 10,000 separate doses of opioids, which he says is enough to kill 10,000 people. Authorities say don't be surprised if you hear of more arrests soon.
"The weapons that you see…and the people that have been brought to justice thus far are not indicative of the true spirit of Petersburg. It’s a city still on the rise,” Chief Ken Miller said.
The chart below lists the others charged and their sentences.
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