Goonie Gang terrorized Englewood, bragged on Facebook, made Goonie Gang T-shirts, feds say

The Goonie Gang sounds like an after-school club for little kids, but it really was a vicious criminal organization involved in three shootouts a day on the South Side during the summer of 2016, federal prosecutors say.

The small group, also known as the Goonie Boss gang, spread "terror and mayhem" through Englewood from 2014 to 2018, when four reputed members were indicted in a racketeering case, according to prosecutors.

Romeo "O Dog" Blackman, 27, Terrance Smith, 27, Jolicious "JoJo" Turman, 31, and Nathaniel McElroy, 25, are set to face trial May 15. Blackman, who supposedly called himself "the Reaper" on the streets of Englewood, was a leader, prosecutors say.

Federal authorities say they’ve amassed a mountain of evidence they plan to present during what they anticipate will be a seven-week trial.

Prosecutors say they have more than 50,000 Facebook pages, much of them showing Goonie members handling guns and bragging about violence. The gang was so hungry for attention, they say, that it even made "Goonie Gang" T-shirts.

The evidence against the Goonies includes secret recordings of defendants incriminating themselves about shootings, prosecutors say. An inmate wearing a wire secretly recorded Turman admitting the 2016 killing of Kenneth Whittaker in retaliation for the murder of Goonie member Robert Vaughn, according to prosecutors.

The judge hearing the case is considering Turman’s request to toss out that recorded statement and other motions to suppress evidence.

According to a 2018 indictment, the gang killed 10 people and was responsible for other, nonfatal shootings.

The Goonies, a faction of the Gangster Disciples, also participated in a Michigan-to-Chicago gun-trafficking operation and a smash-and-grab burglary of a downstate gun store, authorities say.

Separately, Christian Sivels, another reputed Goonie Gang member, is facing a state murder charge in the 2016 killing of David Easley, who was in Englewood delivering a pair of shoes to his daughter when he was shot, according to authorities.


Sivels, 23, is being held at the Cook County Jail, where he also is charged with fighting and exposing himself to female guards.

Some of the 10 killings listed in the Goonies’ federal racketeering case involved shooting other members of the gang who were thought to be cooperating with authorities, according to prosecutors, who say gang members used the phrase "walk him to the backyard" as code for shooting another Goonie.

Other shootings were in retaliation for violence against the gang, according to authorities.

In court papers, prosecutors have provided previously unreleased details about the shootings attributed to the Goonies.

In one case, they say, a young Goonie associate was shot and wounded while tying his shoe. He had been walking to school with Smith, and an informant told authorities that Smith admitted shooting the student because he thought he’d "snitched," prosecutors say. The unidentified student suffered nine bullet wounds but survived the 2015 shooting and cooperated with authorities against Smith, according to court records.

Three of the defendants asked U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey to dismiss the case, saying the indictment didn’t establish that they were involved in a criminal "enterprise," as defined under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The RICO law was passed more than 50 years ago and originally was designed to make it easier to target the Mafia.

In a court filing, a lawyer for Blackman says the accusation that the Goonies banded together to commit violent crimes against other gangs is something that should be decided in state court.

Blakey rejected the bids to dismiss the case.

In recent years, federal authorities have brought conspiracy charges against other small gang factions accused of inflicting terror in Chicago. Those factions include Wicked Town, part of the Traveling Vice Lords in Austin, and O Block, a Black Disciples faction in Woodlawn. Wicked Town members were convicted in a trial last year. O Block members are scheduled to go on trial in October.

In the Goonie case, prosecutors have accused the gang — whose territory included just four blocks of Englewood — of carrying out a shooting at Powell’s Barber Shop that claimed the life of an unintended victim, Gerald Sias, in 2016. The barbershop was featured in a scene in the Spike Lee movie "Chi-Raq." McElroy provided the gun used in the killing and Blackman also was involved, prosecutors say.

"A Goonie member entered a barbershop filled with customers — including a child in the barber’s chair getting a haircut — shot repeatedly at his target, missed and killed [Sias] sitting in a chair waiting to get a haircut," according to prosecutors.

McElroy also is accused of trafficking firearms from Michigan to Chicago in 2016 and 2017. He and associates paid people with clean records to go to gun stores in Michigan and buy guns for them, so-called straw purchases that paid the buyers $150 per gun, prosecutors say.

"Guns are misdemeanors out there," prosecutors say McElroy told an associate about Michigan’s gun laws. "You can get as many as you want. They a misdemeanor. You get bumped off, you straight. You be out the same night."

One of the guns McElroy brought to Chicago was linked to two killings and another to two nonfatal shootings, prosecutors say.

After one trip to Michigan, McElroy posted a Facebook video in which he says, "Nothing but killers around here," according to prosecutors. He and others pointed guns at the camera, taunted gang rivals and bragged about shootings and murders they’d committed, according to federal prosecutors, who say, "They wanted to inform everyone within the reach of Facebook Live about their exploits."

Blackman also is facing separate federal charges that say he was in a stolen Jeep Wrangler that smashed into the South Post Guns store in Streator — about 100 miles west of Chicago — in June 2016 and that he and others in the Jeep stole about 20 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. After the heist, they went to a home in Streator and posed with the guns in a video posted on Facebook, prosecutors say.

Rashad Anchando and Keith Gullens — Blackman’s codefendants in that case — pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison. The gun theft case against Blackman has been postponed until his Goonie Gang case is wrapped up.