March 8, 2020 — The leaders of Detroit’s HNIC Gang were sentenced to long federal prison terms last week. Antoine (HNIC Pesh) Woods was hit with a 31-year bid for heading the westside drug-dealing outfit and his brother Austin (HNIC Killa Ken) Woods, was slapped with a 14-year stint for being his No. 2 man. HNIC stands for “Head Niggas In Charge.”

Prior to his arrest, HNIC Pesh had been enjoying a burgeoning career as a rapper in the Motor City’s talent-rich underground hip-hop scene. His Youtube channel (sevenmilep) has 300,000 subscribers and his 2014 album China White is considered a Detroit trap rap classic.

The HNIC Gang was dismantled with a 2017 federal racketeering, narcotics and attempted murder indictment. The Woods brothers were found guilty at trial in 2019. Part of their case stemmed from threats of violence made over social media. They were convicted of playing a role in a number of shootings, including one at the King of Diamonds strip club on the famously-seedy 8 Mile Road. HNIC Pesh centered his crew’s affairs around the 7 Mile and Joy Road area.

One of the attempted murder counts in the case was a result of a scuffle and chase with rivals inside Fairlane Mall in suburban Dearborn, Michigan, home of the Ford Motor Company. Ford’s international headquarters is located directly across the Southfield Freeway from Fairlane Mall. Iphone footage of the Woods running from men with guns was posted on Facebook in the hours after the incident prompting Austin Woods to text his men orders for retribution.

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