Hazlehurst man served as gang leader in prison, sentenced for racketeering

Published 4:02 pm Thursday, February 1, 2024

OXFORD – A Hazlehurst man was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for racketeering (RICO) conspiracy, including murder, related to his participation in the Simon City Royals (SCR) gang according to a press release from the US Attorneys Office.

According to court documents, from 2016 until 2022, Allen Posey, 49, of Hazlehurst,  oversaw all of the criminal activities of the Simon City Royals, a violent national prison gang operating primarily in the Mississippi Department of Corrections, but with members and associates acting on their behalf outside of prisons throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, and elsewhere.

Through an alliance with the violent Gangster Disciples gang and with a sophisticated structure, the Simon City Royals engaged in a host of criminal activities, including murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, witness tampering, money laundering, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, large-scale drug trafficking, and fraud. Court records reflect that Posey personally ordered the murders of rival gang leaders and was involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.

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“This defendant was responsible for countless crimes and now he will spend functionally the rest of his life in prison,” said U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner for the Northern District of Mississippi. “Safeguarding our communities from violent gangs will always be a top priority for our office, and we commend the state/federal investigative partnership that made this case possible.”

The Simon City Royals engaged in widespread drug trafficking, including smuggling large quantities of methamphetamine, marijuana and synthetic marijuana, heroin, and benzodiazepines into dozens of Mississippi state prison facilities. The gang distributed these dangerous substances, including nearly 100% pure crystal methamphetamine, to inmates throughout the prison system.

“Our neighborhoods deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by violent gangs like the Simon City Royals,” said Special Agent in Charge Joshua Jackson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) New Orleans. “The sentence imposed today is another example of our commitment to seek the maximum prosecution for criminals who have posed such grave danger to our neighborhoods.”

“Nothing matters more than the safety of our communities,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Anessa Daniels-McCaw of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). “This repeat offender’s conviction exemplifies DEA’s tireless partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement to dismantle drug trafficking rings that endanger Mississippians and citizens across the country.”

Throughout the course of the conspiracy, Posey and other Simon City Royals members and associates carried out financial transactions in furtherance of the gang’s activities; these included the collection of dues, the pooling of criminal proceeds, and the clandestine distribution of funds to incarcerated members, as well as a system of “investment” loans whereby members could borrow money for revenue-generating purposes such as purchasing a supply of narcotics.

The Simon City Royals engaged in a complex and sophisticated money laundering and fraud operation. Members committed their money laundering and fraud activities using contraband cellular telephones and encrypted applications like Telegram and Protonmail.

On Oct. 3, 2023, Posey pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy.

The ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Secret Service, FBI Jackson Field Office, Mississippi Department of Corrections, and dozens of local law enforcement agencies across multiple states investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Stringfellow for the Northern District of Mississippi and Trial Attorney Ben Tonkin of the Criminal Division’s Violent Crime and Racketeering Section prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This case is also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.