Nine men have been indicted on 11 possible death-penalty murder charges in what prosecutors are calling the largest federal murder indictment in Ohio history.
Federal, state and local law-enforcement officials detailed the charges this afternoon in the U.S. attorney’s office for the southern district of Ohio.
In all, 17 people are included in the racketeering indictment. The crimes include murders, attempted murders, drug and weapons trafficking, extortion, and robbery that occurred in central Ohio between 2005 and 2012.
Those indicted are: Robert B. Ledbetter, Lance A. Green, Allen L. Wright, Tysin L. Gordon, Christopher A. Harris, Robert L. Wilson III, Rashad A. Liston, Deounte Ussury, Thomas E. Coates, Ishmael Bowers, Joseph Hill, Freddie K. Johnson, Desha W.N. Smith, Lance Reynolds, Rastaman A. Wilson, Clifford L. Robinson, and Troy A. Patterson.
Fourteen of the 17 have been arrested, authorities said.
A task force representing the FBI, Columbus police, and the Franklin County sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices worked for two years on the investigation. In February, the public was asked for help in solving 15 murder cases that stretched back to 1998.
Most of those cases are included in today’s charges.
Carter Stewart, U.S. attorney for the southern district of Ohio, said in January that investigators believed the 15 murders were connected but the victims were not killed by one person.
Investigators said many of the suspects were behind bars, which they hoped would prompt people with information to come forward.
Some of the cases are linked to a lengthy investigation into the Short North Posse. In December, authorities announced drug-trafficking charges against 22 people connected to the posse.
Only one of those, Freddie K. Johnson, is included in today’s charges.
The cold-case task force announced the names of the victims in February but would not discuss the homicides in detail.
The murder victims listed in today’s indictment and the dates they died:
Tyrun Hill, May 1, 2005
Sanikqua Hester, July 12, 2005
Michael Teague, Jan. 12, 2006
Allen Johnson, April 16, 2006
Donathan Moon, Aug. 19, 2007
Marcus Peters, Oct. 6, 2007
Rodriccos Williams, Nov. 3, 2007
Dante Hill, Dec. 12, 2007
Ella Palmer, Dec. 15, 2007
Shane McCuen, March 11, 2008
Tyrell Davis, April 25, 2008
Crystal Fyffe, Oct. 16, 2011
More than one individual is charged in the murders of most of the victims.
In another related homicide — Antonio Hackney on Sept. 9, 2008 — two people already have been convicted.