NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Hampton man was sentenced today to 30 years in prison for his role in a gang-related racketeering conspiracy that engaged in multiple murders, attempted murders, and drug trafficking.
According to court documents, Eric Nixon, 25, along with members of the 36th Street Bang Squad gang, were involved in multiple violent crimes in Hampton and Newport News between 2015 and 2017. On January 2, 2017, Nixon and another gang member engaged in a shoot-out with rival gang members who were standing outside a convenience store in downtown Newport News. On February 26, 2017, Nixon shot a rival gang member in the head during a drive-by shooting in Newport News, because the rival had disrespected the gang on social media. The rival gang member survived the shooting after undergoing brain surgery.
On December 10, 2019, after a seven-week jury trial, Nixon was convicted on six counts of crimes in aid of racketeering, including racketeering conspiracy, two attempted murders, using a firearm in each crime, and having another person unlawfully purchase a firearm for him.
Co-defendant Martin L. Hunt, 24, of Newport News, was sentenced to multiple life sentences for his role in the conspiracy on May 6. In addition to Hunt and Nixon, five co-defendants were convicted by a federal jury in the same trial for their roles in the racketeering conspiracy. Those co-defendants currently are scheduled for sentencing on various dates through August 2.
Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; Steve R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police; Kenneth Ferguson, Interim Chief of Hampton Police; and Anton A. Bell, Commonwealth Attorney for the City of Hampton, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Howard Zlotnick and Brian Samuels and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Cross from the Eastern District of Virginia, and Trial Attorney Chad McHenry from the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, prosecuted the case.
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