April 15, 2020 — Legendary Chicago gangland leader Larry Hoover is hoping that the First Step Act, championed by Windy City rap god Kanye West and signed into law by President Donald Trump a year ago, opens up the prison gates for him. A pair of his top lieutenants were set free in recent months due to the act of legislation allowing inmates to seek sentence reductions.

The 69-year old Hoover is the boss of the Gangster Disciples, one of the biggest organized crime groups in America. He’s been behind bars for almost five decades and currently resides in the Federal Supermax facility in Florence, Colorado, a prison reserved for the nation’s most high-profile and dangerous felons. Lawyers for Hoover filed motions in U.S. District Court in Illinois for consideration regarding a sentence reduction under the First Step Act. Hoover isn’t scheduled for release until April 2064.

Back in November, former GD “junior boss” Johnny (Crusher) Jackson was released from federal custody when U.S. District Court Judge Harry Leinenberger lifted his life sentence. Former Southside Chicago GD shot-caller William (Too Short) Edwards got out of his 100-year term late last summer courtesy of a Leinenberger ruling.

Both Jackson, 47, and Edwards, 49, went down with Hoover in 1995’s Operation Headache bust, where the feds nailed Hoover for running GD street activity through the two eager upstarts and his second-in-charge Greg (Shorty G) Shell. Hoover was doing a life sentence for ordering the February 1973 murder of William (Pooky) Young and had publicly re-branded himself a community activist in order to get placed in a low-security prison unit. Young was caught stealing money from the GDs.

Shell, Jackson and Edwards visited Hoover frequently in the Vienna Correctional Center in Johnson County, Illinois, where the FBI succeeded in recording their conversations related to GD business in the visiting room by outfitting visitor badges with tiny hidden microphones. Edwards discovered his visitor’s badge was wired for sound on a trip to the bathroom in December 1993 on a visit with Hoover. He and Jackson went on the lamb and avoided capture for several years.

According to the Operation Headache indictment, Hoover’s orders would relay from Shell at his June’s Shrimp headquarters to Edwards and then from Edwards to Jackson on the ground at the old Robert Taylor Homes projects. Edwards controlled all GD drug-dealing turf on the city’s Southside and Jackson was tasked with overseeing the teenage street dealers at the towering Taylor projects’ near three dozen residential buildings on a day-to-day basis.

Beginning in 1992, Hoover, through Edwards and Jackson, installed what he called his “one day” policy, telling GDs and independent pushers in the area that they were required to pay one day a week’s worth of drug sales to him on the inside for protection. Those extortion payments totaled $300,000 per week and was always promptly delivered by Edwards to Hoover’s girlfriend. The Operation Headache case dropped on August 31, 1995.

The 62-year old Shell is seeking a release under the First Step Act as well. If Hoover gets sprung via the act, he’ll still have to seek an additional sentence reduction from the state court for his conviction in the Pooky Young murder case.

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