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Delaware Headlines

Federal indictments connected to two shootings announced

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware has announced indictments against six individuals.

Ryan Bacon, Dontae Sykes, Michael Pritchett, Dion Oliver, Maurice Cooper and Teres Tinnin face multiple criminal charges connected to a pair of June 2017 shootings.

All six face conspiracy to stalk and stalking charges. All except Tinnin were indicted on conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping.

According to the indictment, Oliver attempted to shoot a stalking victim in Wilmington, but missed and instead shot six-year-old Jashown Banner in the head.

That same day, several of the defendants allegedly kidnapped Keyonna Perkins, intimate partner of the man they’re accused of stalking, and brought her to Elkton, Md., where she was shot and killed.

“Under the circumstances of this case, the maximum penalty for conspiracy to kidnap is life in prison. The maximum penalty for kidnapping in which the death of a person resulted is mandatory life, or death,” said US Attorney David Weiss.

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Credit Courtesy of the Delaware Department of Justice
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Courtesy of the Delaware Department of Justice
Dion Oliver

Though he declined to use the term “gangs” in describing the case, Weiss noted that the case involved “two groups that were openly feuding with one another.”

State Attorney General Matt Denn says the two shootings resulted in an intensive state and federal investigation.  

“And this investigation over the last 20 months revealed a large criminal enterprise engaged in drug sales and many acts of senseless violence,” said Denn. “This enterprise crossed state lines.”

He says the investigation led to over 30 defendants pleading to various charges, including drug crimes, illegal weapons possession, money laundering and conspiracy, in state court.

Denn says that following consultation with victims, Delaware is ending its prosecution against five of the defendants who were indicted Thursday, allowing them to be prosecuted solely in the federal system.

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Credit Courtesy of the Delaware Department of Justice
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Courtesy of the Delaware Department of Justice
Michael Pritchett

In discussing the indictments, Weiss points to the United States Department of Justice’s national initiative Project Safe Neighborhoods, which has encouraged his office to collaborate with the Delaware Attorney General’s office, regional FBI investigators and several local police departments.

“I am pleased to report that thus far, these efforts have been successful. Crime throughout the City of Wilmington is down in virtually every key violent crime metric,” he said.