In the years after the original Philadelphia Black Mafia was dismantled by court convictions and internal squabbling, Aaron (A.J.) Jones, a former gopher as a young boy for founding Philly Black Mafia member Robert (Nudie) Mims, started the Junior Black Mafia (JBM) in the mid-1980s. Jones and his JBM went on to dominate the North and West Philadelphia drug trade in the crack era, taking counsel from Mims behind bars. Just like their predecessors the decade before, JBM told their counterparts in the Philly underworld to “Get down or lay down” and made valuable inroads with the area’s powerful Italian mob – JBM lieutenant Benny Goff was Jones’ conduit to the Italians.

Later in the decade, violence erupted between JBM and its enemies and in some instances JBM and itself. Authorities place the body count at over two dozen in a 14-month from the spring of 1988 through the summer of 1989. By 1992, the group was wiped out, with Jones and most of his main henchmen either dead or in prison.

* One of Aaron Jones’ top JBM section leaders was Derrick (Little D) Williams, who did time in prison for an early-1990s drug and racketeering case and was recently killed gangland style (October 2016).


January 1985 – Aaron (A.J.) Jones starts JBM in North Philly.

March 1985 – JBM members and rival North Philly drug kingpin Craig Haynes engage in shootout in front of Philadelphia City Hall, igniting tensions that would last through almost the entirety of the JBM reign.

*JBM members spent weekends flashing their wealth at “The Plateau” in Fairmont Park made famous in Will Smith’s 1991 smash-hit song Summertime.

March 26, 1988 – Rival drug dealer Albert Ragen is gunned down.

April 2, 1988 – Ragen gang loyalist Dennis Caldwell is killed.

April 9, 1988 – Ragen gang loyalist Brock White is killed.

April 16, 1988 –Ragen gang loyalist James Tate is murdered.

July 12, 1988 – Local underworld figure Mark Lisby is killed by JBM enforcer Anthony (Big Tone) Reid in front of Lisby’s home over a dispute about a $150 drug debt.

November 15, 1988 – Craig Haynes is shot again and refuses to identify the JBM shooters that assaulted him to police.

December 1, 1988 – JBM members Tracy Mason, Julius Pickard, James Gaines, David Shabbaz and William McNeil are arrested on state drug conspiracy charges.

1989 – JBM acquires valuable drug-peddling turf when affiliate Richard (Big Roachie) Nelson is sent to prison and his brother and business partner Wayne (Little Roachie) Nelson is killed.

January 2, 1989 – JBM lieutenant Timmy (King Aquil) Keitt is slain.

January 6, 1989 – JBM lieutenant Marvin (Big D) Robinson is indicted following a series of raids on stash houses he ran.

February 2, 1989 – Two of Craig Haynes’ enforcers, twin brothers Guy and Gil Matthews are indicted for murdering JBM member James Susswell.

February 3, 1989 – Haynes lieutenant Terrance Goss is shot, but survives.

February 21, 1989 – Rival drug dealer Richard Isaac is left paralyzed from the waist down in an ambush where he was shot 10 times by a JBM hit team.

March 13, 1989 – JBM soldier Neil (Phil Fresh) Wilkinson is shot to death when ambushed by JBM enforcer “Big Tone” Reid and his driver Kevin (Black) Bowman. Wilkinson’s partner-in-crime and fellow JBM lieutenant Darryl (Hickey Mo) Woods is paralyzed from the waist down in the attack. Woods and Wilkinson were targeted by JBM bosses for their belief that the pair had become federal informants.

March 18, 1989 – Teenager Michael Waters is shot to death by “Big Tone” Reid after Waters hit Reid’s car with a snowball.

March 26, 1989 – JBM West Philly lieutenant Reggie Rittenburg is killed following being suspected by his JBM superiors of skimming the till.

June 29, 1989 –JBM lieutenants Anthony (Tony Two Guns) Fletcher and Eric (E-Money) Hurst are ambushed by Haynes-dispatched gunmen. Fletcher is wounded. Hurst is killed.

July 11, 1989 – JBM enforcer Christopher (Dirty Black) Laster and his crew open fire on a South Philly street corner, wounding an innocent woman – Sylvia Stinson – and killing an innocent man – Willie Bowman -, in an effort to dissuade non-JBM affiliates from working the area.

August 10, 1989 – JBM lieutenant Donnie Branch is shot dead in attempt on Aaron Jones’ life by a squad of gunmen from Haynes’ gang.

August 30, 1989 – Aaron Jones and JBM second-in-command Sam (Magic) Brown are re-indicted for the attempted murder of Richard Isaac (they were first charged in February immediately after the shooting). The charges are eventually dropped but while Jones and Brown were in jail, they assigned LeRoy (Bucky) Davis to be acting boss of JBM.

September 16, 1989 – Anthony Anderson, one of the suspected shooters in Branch’s murder, is found slain.

September 21, 1989 – JBM founding member Mark (Goldie) Casey dies of a prison drug overdose.

September 25, 1989 – “Big Tone” Reid is convicted on weapons charges.

November 3, 1989 – Aaron Jones stabs an inmate in the Philadelphia Detention Center.

April 20, 1990 – “Big Tone” Reid and “Black” Bowman are found guilty for the murder of “Phil Fresh” Wilkinson.

April 21, 1990 – JBM enforcer Leonard (Big Basil) Patterson is convicted of the James Tate hit.

May 14, 1990 – JBM acting boss LeRoy (Bucky) Davis is shot to death on the front porch of a row house in West Philly by his successor Brian (Moochie) Thornton.

June 10, 1990 – JMB acting boss Brian (Moochie) Thornton and his driver Eric (Little Hawk) Watkins get into a road-rage altercation with a motorist on a North Philly street named Greg Jackson where Watkins pistol whips and then executes Jackson in front of his wife on Thornton’s orders.

August 18, 1990 – JBM lieutenant Bruce Kennedy is shot to death behind the counter of his West Philly Mommie’s Food Market for allegedly romancing a girlfriend of Aaron Jones’ while Jones was away cooling his heels behind bars.

October 2, 1991 – The JBM drug and racketeering indictment drops:Jones and 24 of his men are arrested and jailed.

April 23, 1992 – Aaron Jones and “Moochie” Thornton are convicted in the drug and racketeering case and Jones is convicted of Kennedy’s murder and sentenced to death in January 1993.

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