February 6, 2021 – One-time Detroit drug kingpin John (The Bread Man) Bass killed his step-brother and gangland running buddy Pat (The Ram) Webb two and a half decades ago after a bitter falling out that brewed for years until finally boiling over in the summer of 1996.
The 51-year old “Bread Man” recently got a reprieve from a life sentence without parole for the two slayings, sprung from prison late last month on a sentence reduction tied to a COVID-19-related motion for compassionate release. The man who let him out, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Tarnow, was the same man who sentenced him to life behind bars in the first place back in 2003.
Bread Man Bass did a 23-year stretch as a guest of the federal government. Federal prosecutors have appealed Tarnow’s decision to show mercy.
Bass and Webb co-founded The Dawg Pound drug gang on the Westside of Detroit in late 1989, quickly expanding north into Pontiac and Flint and then into out-of-state locations like Ohio (Columbus & Canton) and Indiana (Muncie). But problems between Bass and Webb developed around the fall of 1993, per federal records, and the Dawg Pound split into two distinct factions.
The sibling rivalry wasn’t helped by the arrival on the scene of legendary Young Boys, Incorporated boss Milton (Butch) Jones in that same time period fresh off a prison sentence for his days as YBI’s “Henry Ford of Heroin.” Bass and Webb had taken over the territory Jones one led in the 1980s and cut Jones in for a piece of their operation upon his return to town.
Jones got along with Bass, but butted heads with Ram Webb, per sources. Bass felt the affiliation with Jones would enhance the reputation of the Dawg Pound, sources claim, while Webb didn’t want a profit sharing situation with Jones and felt the brothers were better off on their own.
In September 1995, Bass and Webb got into a physical altercation at a Detroit nightclub and drew their guns on each other, according to court filings. No shots were fired.
Bass began speaking to people about killing his step-brother in the weeks after the incident at the club, per federal informant records. By the early spring of 1996, Bass was getting winds of rumors that Webb was looking to put a contract on his head.
On the morning of June 6, 1996, Bass summoned Dawg Pound enforcer Anthony (Fat Moe) Shelton to a meeting at his house. Bass’ right-hand man Carl (Pookie) Gooden attends the meeting and tells Fat Moe that Ram Webb is talking to the feds about the Dawg Pound hit squad, known as the “Monterey Madmen,” he oversaw. Hours later, Fat Moe Shelton and his hit squad gunned Ram Webb down in his driveway. Webb was declared dead on the scene.
To cover their tracks, Bass and Gooden decided to kill Fat Moe. On June 10, 1996, Bass and his lieutenant Cornelius (Cornbread) Webb opened fire on Fat Moe Shelton from a passing van driven by Pookie Gooden. Bass got off the fatal shots, as Shelton sat idling in a car outside his girlfriend’s house. Police retrieved murder weapon from the Webb hit at Shelton’s girlfriend’s house and the murder weapons from the Shelton hit at Gooden’s residence.
Bread Man Bass was indicted in 1997 on drug charges in Michigan and finally brought into custody by the feds a little over a year later. He didn’t reach trial until 2002.
Butch Jones, 65, had sole control over the Dawg Pound Gang until his bust on narcotics, racketeering and accessory to murder charges in 2001. Jones was sentenced to 30 years in prison and will be getting out in 2027 when he is 72.