NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man was sentenced today to multiple life sentences for his role in a gang-related racketeering conspiracy that engaged in multiple murders, attempted murders, and drug trafficking.
“As the evidence demonstrated during a seven-week trial, the defendant’s actions displayed a chilling neglect for human life, safety, and the rule of law,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Our Office is grateful to our law enforcement partners and trial team, who worked for years to bring the defendant and his co-conspirators to justice and stop them from further threatening our communities with violence.”
According to court documents, Martin L Hunt, 24, along with members of the 36th Street Bang Squad gang, were involved in multiple violent crimes in Hampton and Newport News between March and June 2015. On April 6, 2015, Hunt and three other members of the 36th Street Bang Squad drew firearms and began shooting at people outside a Newport News home. Two teenagers, Jada Richardson, 13, and Domingo Davis, 17, were killed during this incident.
Casings collected from the April 2015 double-murder scene matched a 9 mm firearm that Hunt had obtained from a family member in March 2015. Those casings also matched the gun used during a March 15, 2015 shooting of P.D. and A.J. in Newport News. That shooting left both victims with serious and life-threatening injuries. Hunt bragged afterwards to other gang members that he had gone “op shopping,” which meant shooting at rival gang members.
On June 5, 2015, Hunt and co-conspirators Shaquone Ford, 26, of Newport News, Jamaree Green, 24, of Hampton, and Corey Sweetenburg, 24, of Newport News, drove to a Hampton high school looking for a rival gang member suspected of murdering a 36th Street Bang Squad member two days prior. Once at the location, other 36th Street members and associates joined the group and followed a Hampton City school bus in two vehicles, waiting for their target to get off at a stop. When the target exited the bus, the defendants and other gang members and associates chased him into an apartment complex. The defendants carried loaded firearms and planned to kill the target if he was found, which he was not.
According to court documents, Hunt used social media to taunt rival gang members, acquire firearms, and brag about the exploits of the 36th Street Bang Squad.
On December 10, 2019, after a seven-week jury trial, Hunt was convicted on eleven counts of crimes in aid of racketeering, including two murders, three attempted murders, and using a firearm in each crime. He was sentenced today to life in prison, followed by two consecutive life sentences and an additional twenty-five years.
In addition to Hunt, six co-defendants were convicted by a federal jury in the same trial for their roles in the racketeering conspiracy. Those six co-defendants currently are scheduled for sentencing in the next three months from June 10 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 U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Howard J. Zlotnick and Brian Samuels and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy E. 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.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-52.