The founding members of the Motor City’s infamous Cash Flow Posse were brought to justice in an historic bust 20 years ago this summer, concluding a decade-long run atop the diverse and tumultuous Southwest Detroit underworld. More than a half-dozen Cash Flow Posse leaders were indicted in July 1997 on a laundry list of racketeering, drug and murder charges. It was the first time federal prosecutors in Motown nailed a street gang under the RICO act.

By the following year, five of those indicted had pled guilty, one pled no contest to the charges and another was convicted at trial. There were a total of five murders and seven shootings and assaults included in the case, highlighted by the 1994 homicides of Evan Ison, Jimmy Goings and innocent bystander Annie Johnson.

Southwest Detroit is mainly Hispanic in population, but a hodgepodge of gangland activity, home to both Latino and African-American criminal groups as well as the notorious Highwaymen Motorcycle Club. Started by then-teenagers Jerry (Quick) Waucaush and his baby brother Robert (Brutus) Waucaush, the Cash Flow Posse, sometimes shortened to just “CFP,” sprouted up around 1989 in response to a raging turf war between the neighborhood’s Latin Counts and Spanish Cobras street gangs – each recent arrivals from Chicago.

The Waucaush brothers aligned themselves with the Latin Counts and commissioned a graffiti campaign to announce their presence. Neighborhood buildings, bridges and walls were soon tagged with Cash Flow Posse shout-outs and territory markings.

Another founding father of the gang, Cash Flow Posse’s top enforcer Efraim (12-Gauge) Garcia was the shooter in all five murders charged. On July 17, 1994, Garcia gunned down CFP rival Jimmy Goings, killing his 15-year old niece Annie Johnson in the process. Four months later, on November 26, 1994, he clipped Evan Ison, another rival of the CFP clique.

Garcia shot both Goings and Ison at point-blank range. Ison was a Spanish Cobra. Goings, 34, was alleged to be affiliated with the Folks Nation gang. His niece just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Shirley Johnson, Goings’ sister, was wounded in the attack and survived.

According to court and police records, Goings and Quick Waucaush had been in a beef for weeks over a girl and that on the afternoon of Goings’ murder, him and Waucaush had gotten into a fist fight at a local park. Pleading guilty to second-degree murder, Waucaush admitted that Garcia told him of the double homicide hours after it happened.

Cash Flow Posse lieutenant Greg (Shortstop) Ballestero pled guilty to second-degree murder in the case too, admitting he was with Garcia when the hits occurred and personally took part in the shooting. Garcia ran up on Goings on his sister’s front porch, unloaded his weapon into him before pointing his gun into the family-room window and opening fire, striking Goings’ niece dead and severely wounding his sister.

“Gauge don’t leave no witnesses,” one informant told the feds as to why Garcia fired into the house after successfully hitting his target on the porch.

Shortstop Ballestero helped found the Cash Flow Posse in the 1980s, but had joined the U.S. Marine Corps and was on summer leave in July 1994 when Goings and Johnson was murdered. Found guilty by a jury at a 1998 trial, the 48-year old 12-Gauge Garcia is doing natural life in the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Brutus Waucaush, 44, put in a plea of no lo contendre and got slapped with a 30-year prison term. He will be eligible for parole in the fall of 2018.

As a result of their respective plea deals, Ballestero, 43, and Quick Waucaush, 46, received 12-year sentences apiece. They were both released in 2010.

Former Cash Flow Posse initiate and Latin Counts and Highwaymen MC associate Juan (Runaway) Butler was murdered – most likely inside the Highwaymen’s Southwest Detroit clubhouse – in March 1999 in a homicide that remains unsolved. Two suspects in Butler’s murder, Highwaymen leaders Leonard (Big Daddy) Moore and Anthony (Mad Anthony) Clark, have had their names bandied about in the local news lately. Clark, 59, just walked free from a 10-year prison sentence for racketeering earlier this month. The 69-year old Moore has 11 years left on his own racketeering conviction, but per recent court filings revealing a co-defendant’s secret relationship with government agencies might now provide him grounds for a formidable appeal.

Butler had served five years in a juvenile detention center for an early-1990s arson as a means of earning induction into CFP. The 19-year old returned home to Southwest Detroit in the summer of 1998. His body was discovered floating in the Detroit River in April 1999. He had been stabbed 40 times.

Detroit-based rap group the Insane Clown Posse often name-checks CFP in their songs. Some two decades later, the term Cash Flow Posse still carries pop-culture weight in the area and has become synonymous with 90s-era criminal activity in Southwest Detroit.

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