Gang members get lengthy prison time

By DEANNE JOHNSON

newsroom@reviewonline.com

LISBON — Lengthy prison sentences were given by Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Washam last week to several of the remaining members of the group of nine people, who had been charged in 2016 in connection with gang involvement which brought drugs and other related crimes to the Salem area from 2013 through 2016.

Malcolm L. Gilford, 32, was sentenced to five years and six months in prison after pleading guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, receiving stolen property and burglary.

Gilford, also known as “Spade”, was involved with Tiona Jones, also known as “T”; Antonio Torres Jr., also known as “AT”; Susan Jones; Vincent L. McGary, also known as “Vinny”; Marvin W. Harsch; and Bradley Deatley. The group had engaged in crimes including trafficking in drugs, but also assaults, burglaries, conspiracies and money laundering.

Additionally, Gilford was involved in having on Aug. 1, 2014, miscellaneous TVs and liquor, which had been stolen from Club Fuel on Railroad Street in Salem.

Court records indicate the burglary offense, which was pleaded down from an aggravated burglary, was from Aug. 7, 2014, when Gilford, along with co-defendant/co-conspirator Harsch and another unknown man, went into a home to rob at gunpoint, Darrin Nesbitt, who is also known as “Squeak”, and other drug users in the home. The court documents indicate Tiona Jones had been trying to collect money from Dewey Souers at the home and paid one of the women in heroin to leave the door open so they could break in.

Another co-defendant, Torres, 30, Warren, pleaded guilty last week to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and was sentenced immediately to four years in prison. Court documents state Torres was involved in the drug enterprise by transporting illegal narcotics including cocaine and heroin into Salem and trafficking the drugs throughout the area including at the home of Johnny Taylor on Walnut Street. Torres had been previously convicted of offenses for trafficking in drugs from Taylor’s home in 2014.

Yet another co-defendant, McGary, 38, state Route 517, Columbiana, pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, trafficking in drugs and possession of drugs with a forfeiture specification. McGary was sentenced immediately to three years in prison. In addition to his involvement in the gang, the charges stated McGary specifically sold cocaine on Feb. 17, 2016 and had more than 10 grams of cocaine on Aug. 12, 2016, along with $1,207 from the commission of drug-related offenses.

One of the alleged co-conspirators, 85-year-old Selena Pruitt of Warren, had her charges dismissed. Pruitt had been charged with conspiracy to trafficking in drugs, a third-degree felony, which claimed starting in October 2013 and continuing to September 2016, Pruitt was assisting her granddaughter, Tiona Jones, by collecting drug trafficking proceeds at her home.

Tiona Jones, the 35-year-old leader of the gang, was sentenced to 14 years in prison at a hearing in June.

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