By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A federal jury on Thursday convicted seven residents of the Bartram Village Housing Development in Southwest Philadelphia of running a violent drug ring in the neighborhood.
They called themselves “The Young Boys” or the “Harlem Hitmen,” and armed with heavy firepower, they protected their crack cocaine and cocaine-base distribution operation through threats and intimidation of residents of the Bartram Village.
That was until federal agents busted up the ring in 2010, sending all to a trial which ended Thursday with guilty verdicts for attempted murder, weapons offenses and numerous drug violations.
Prosecutor Sal Alstofi says the gang’s leader, 26-year-old Ramel Moten, was responsible for a ten-year reign of terror.
“From 2001 through 2010, these guys wreaked havoc on the Bartram Village Housing Development,” Alstofi says, “committing numerous violent crimes…shootings, assaults, and they sold drugs for many years, and they really did hold the entire Bartram Village captive for that time.”
The prosecutor says Moten and six others face long prison terms when they come back for sentencing in March. Alstofi says Moten faces a minimum of 125 years in prison – the equivalent of life.