Home African-American Sylvester Seal Murray and Young Boys Inc | Detroit Drug Organization

Sylvester Seal Murray and Young Boys Inc | Detroit Drug Organization

Sylvester Seal Murray and Young Boys Inc | Detroit Drug Organization

Initially, in the organization, Sunday was “pay day” and all of the members would assemble at a “club” where they would be paid according to individual distribution “crews”. This “club” was a warehouse located in the city of Detroit. Gambling and entertainment were provided at the “club”. Members of the organization who performed various functions were frequently paid salaries according to their position of responsibility. For example, persons who dropped off “bags” containing “bundles” of coin envelopes were paid $50 per day with an additional $20 for gasoline and expenses. “Runners” received upwards of $300 per week, plus between $1.~·and $2.50 for each coin envelope sold. Persons running “Spots’ (top dogs) received upwards of $700 per week. Legal counsel was provided by Jones when adult members were arrested by local authorities. One female member of the organization was designated to bond members out of jail promptly using an alias. Members of the organization were also provided with sets of fake identification which included perfect Michigan driver’s operator’s permits in alias names as well as birth certificates and social security cards. Expensively furnished homes were set up as dormitories. One such house was equipped with microphones which allowed occupants to hear conversations on the street outside. While executing a federal search warrant on another such house in september 1982, agent found an expensive pool table bearing a gold nameplate inscribed “YBI”.

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Supervisory-level personnel were not permitted to utilize drugs and, if caught using drugs, were “wrecked” or terminated from their jobs. The term “wrecked” stems from a group within the organization which was referred to as the “wrecking crew”. This group was responsible for imposing discipline on members, resolving disputes, insuring that there were no “rip offs” and preventing members of the organization from being “hassled” by any individuals. The “wrecking crew” was dispatched only by Butch Jones or Timothy  Peoples. Runners at the lowest level, however, were permitted to utilize drugs and, on occasion, some older narcotics addicts were recruited to act as runners ill an effort to promote business. Runners primarily ranged in age from 12 to 17 years of age. Many supervisory personnel or “lieutenants” initially began as “runners” and worked their way up to more prestigious positions. According to accomplice witnesses the scheme to utilize literally scores of juveniles as “runners” was devised because of the tremendous difficulty and inability of local law enforcement to apprehend and prosecute the juveniles and because of the lack of punishment. Additionally, these juveniles provided layers of insulation to the adult, upper echelon members. Lastly, there was a vast pool of youngsters available in the city who were easily recruited and influenced. The sight of young persons on the street hawking the heroin product by various brand-names became commonplace


Utilizing these investigative techniques and having obtained the cooperation of some accomplice witnesses, the federal grand jury returned an indictment charging both Sylvester Seal Murray and Milton David Jones, a/k/a “Butch Jones” with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise with tax offenses. Numerous high-level associates were also charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute quantities of heroin and cocaine during the period of December 1, 1980 up to and including the time of the filing of the indictment. One of Murray’s associates, Darryl Young, remains a fugitive. Sylvester Murray and three associates were convicted after lengthy jury trials. Milton David Jones and numerous members of Young Boys, Inc. entered pleas of guilty. To date, 32 persons named in the indictment have been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. This successful investigation illustrates current emphasis on high-impact cases in an effort to reach beyond the streets and apprehend those who exercise power and control in major trafficking groups. Emphasizing the financial aspects of these criminal operations, both in terms of tax prosecutions and in the forfeitures of about $1.5 million was also a successful technique used in this investigation. This concentration on the financial techniques in high impact prosecutions of large-scale well insulated drug trafficking organizations is one of the main goals of The Narcotics Task Forces under the leadership of the Attorney General. This investigation also serves as a clear example of the necessity of fostering and maintaining close cooperation between federal agencies and local law enforcement offices. These agencies were able to set aside individual goals and to combine in a cohesive effort over an extended period of time . By combining the best assets of each agency, effective results are obtainable.

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my prepared statement, and I would be pleased at this time to respond to questions you or the members of the sub-committee may have.



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