HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Eight Harrisburg residents have been charged with running a drug trafficking ring that posted YouTube videos with members brandishing machine guns and assault rifles, federal prosecutors said Friday.
Qushawn Brown, 28; Wesley Garner, 26; Anderson Ortiz, 20; Tyquann Langston, 24; Donza Brown, 56; Jaionne Miller, 19; Adieas Johnson, 31; and Kaleaf Brown, 24, were indicted by a federal grand jury on drug trafficking and firearms charges.
U.S. Attorney David Freed said the drug trafficking ring operated in the Harrisburg area since 2018 and was affiliated with a music group named Never Forget Loyalty, or NFL.
As part of their drug trafficking operation, “NFL” posted videos on YouTube in which members brandished assault rifles, machine guns, and handguns with extended magazines. Members also flashed the cash and displayed drugs, Freed said.
“In the videos, they describe their drug trafficking activities, their willingness to act violently against potential rivals or those who cooperate with law enforcement and the acts of violence they committed in the past against rivals,” Freed said.
Prosecutors said NFL was linked to several violent incidents in the city, including the fatal July 10 shooting of 27-year-old Jerron Lewis and another shooting that injured two people four days later, both at 16th and Zarker streets.
“It’s a small number of people committing the largest number of violent acts, so when can have an impact by taking that small number of people out of the situation and thereby quickly reduce violence, we’re going to do that all the time,” Freed said.
Police seized drugs with a trafficked value of over $1 million. At least 10 guns were also taken off the street, including assault rifles, machine guns and pistols with extended magazines.
“Allison Hill does not deserve these sorts of people to make it a dangerous place and I’m thankful that we’ve removed these individuals,” said Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo.
Harrisburg Bureau of Police Commissioner Thomas Carter has a message for those people with guns and drugs: “You have families that love you. You have moms. You have dads. You have grandparents. Please put the guns down because if you don’t you leave us no other choice than to come after you.”
Five of the defendants were arrested yesterday and the other three were arrested on Aug. 15.
If convicted of these crimes, four could face a maximum of life in prison, three could face 30 years and one could face 20 years.