Federal prosecutors: This Norfolk man is the leader of the Nine Trey Gangsters. He just got 3 life terms, and then some

Antonio Simmons (Southside Daily/Courtesy of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office)
Antonio Simmons (Southside Daily/Courtesy of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office)

NORFOLK – A local man was sentenced Thursday to three consecutive life terms plus an additional 40 years in prison for his leadership role in a racketeering conspiracy, multiple murders, multiple attempted murders, and various drug and gun crimes, all as part of his leadership of the Nine Trey Gangsters Bloods gang.

According to court documents, Antonio Simmons, aka “Murdock,” was a high-ranking leader of a group of Portsmouth and Norfolk-based members of the Nine Trey Gangsters, a Bloods gang affiliated with the United Blood Nation.

Simmons, 41, and five other members and associates of the gang were charged for their roles in a spate of extreme violence in December 2015 that ended with five people dead and four others shot during seven separate shootings that crossed nearly every city in South Hampton Roads, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“Simmons and his gang committed horrific violence across nearly every community in Hampton Roads,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. “Their actions shattered five families and took parents away from their children. That they did these acts because the gang needed money and to enhance their reputation speaks volumes about what gangs really are – as opposed to what they claim to be when they recruit young men and women in our neighborhoods. Where gangs go, depravity and senseless violence follows. I would like to especially thank the police departments in every South Hampton Roads city for their assistance in bringing these men to justice.”

Nearly all of the victims in the case were unaffiliated with the Nine Trey Gangsters or any other gang. They included two mothers of young children and one grandmother who was murdered, along with her boyfriend, because gang members believed she was cooperating with the police in an investigation of another shooting carried out by a Nine Trey member just weeks before, prosecutors said.

Simmons was found guilty of the two murders that happened during attempted robberies he ordered his men to commit. By the end of December, two of the gang’s primary shooters, Anthony Foye, aka “Ace,” and Nathaniel Mitchell, aka “Savage,” were in a competition to see who could gain a reputation within the gang for shooting the most people, prosecutors said.

To even the score the men were keeping, Mitchell gunned down a woman walking home from her job at the Norfolk International Airport four days before Christmas. The evidence at trial showed that Simmons bragged about the shootings carried out by Foye and Mitchell.

In late 2015, Simmons ordered Foye, Mitchell, Alvaughn Davis, aka “LB,” and Malek Lassiter, aka “Leeko,” to kill high-ranking members of a rival Hampton Roads-based Nine Trey Gangsters “line.”

When the men were unable to find two of their targets, they drove to the house of a third man they planned to shoot. When the woman who opened the door told them the man was not at home, they shot her six times, prosecutors said.

The woman survived the attack.

While the men fled from the scene, they fired several rounds at witnesses looking out of their windows. Foye and Mitchell were arrested after robbing a gas station store later the same night.

Simmons, Mitchell, and Lassiter were convicted on all counts after a seven-week jury trial. Foye and Davis pleaded guilty before trial, and another associate of the gang, Donte Brehon, pleaded guilty in a separate case. Simmons was the last defendant to be sentenced. The men charged, and the sentences they received, are as follows:

Name Age, Hometown Convictions Total Sentence
Antonio Lee Simmons, aka “Murdock,” “Doc” 41, Norfolk Racketeering conspiracy; Heroin distribution conspiracy; Murder in Aid of Racketeering (2); Attempted murder in aid of racketeering in aid of racketeering (4); Assault with a dangerous weapon (3); Use of a firearm resulting in death (2); Use of a firearm during a crime of violence (4); various other firearm and drug offenses Life plus 60 years
Nathaniel Tyree Mitchell, aka “Savage” 26, Portsmouth Racketeering conspiracy; Murder in aid of racketeering (4); Attempted murder in aid of racketeering (6); Assault with a dangerous weapon  in aid of racketeering (5); Use of a firearm resulting in death (4); Use of a firearm during a crime of violence (6) 5 Life sentences plus 50 years
Anthony Foye,              aka “Ace,” “Bull” 27, Portsmouth Murder in aid of racketeering (4) Life
Malek Lassiter,             aka “Leeko” 23, Portsmouth Racketeering conspiracy; Attempted murder in aid of racketeering (3); Assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering (2); Use of a firearm during a crime of violence (3) 35 years
Alvaughn Davis,            aka “LB” 30, Portsmouth Racketeering conspiracy; Use of a firearm resulting in death; Accessory after the fact to murder in aid of racketeering 45 years
Donte Brehon,              aka “Dog Nutz” 37, Norfolk Accessory after the fact to assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin 13 years

 

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.