Leader of Black P-Stones Gang Sentenced for Racketeering Conspiracy and Murder Charges
A Newport News, Virginia man was sentenced in Norfolk, Virginia, to two life terms as well as 25 years in prison, to be served concurrently, after being convicted of Racketeering Conspiracy - including acts of murder; attempted murder; robbery; obstruction of justice and narcotics distribution; Murder in Aid of Racketeering; Conspiracy and Attempted Murder in Aid of Racketeering; Conspiracy and Possession to Distribute Marijuana; and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Special Agent in Charge Martin W. Culbreth of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement.
According to the evidence at trial, Michael Hopson, aka “Hop” and “Big Homie,” 39, was a member of a violent street gang called the Black P-Stones, also referred to as the P-Stone Bloods and Cobra Stones, which operated as a criminal enterprise located primarily in the Beechmont, Courthouse Green and Woodview neighborhoods in the Denbigh area of Newport News. The evidence at trial established that the Black P-Stones engaged in various criminal activities including murders, robberies, illegal drug trafficking and obstruction of justice.
According to the evidence at trial, Hopson was the founding member and leader (“OG”) of the Black P-Stones/Cobra Stones set of the Denbigh area, Newport News. The defendant was a security officer at Denbigh High School, in Newport News where he met and recruited Denbigh High School students and others into the P-Stones. According to the government’s evidence, in addition to Hopson recruiting at Denbigh High School, he also sold narcotics while acting in his capacity as a school resource officer. As the “OG,” Hopson approved, directed, planned, and participated in criminal activities, including robbery and attempted robberies, narcotics distribution, murders and attempted murders. He recruited members, associates and non-members, including minors, to conduct criminal activities for the gang. Further, Hopson collected monthly dues from all P-Stone members; carried out violations; ordered violations; ordered and presided over meetings; and possessed, distributed and discharged firearms. Additionally, he distributed marijuana, to other P-Stone members to sell for the purpose of obtaining money for the gang and collected proceeds from marijuana trafficking from all P-Stone members.
The government put forth evidence at trial that demonstrated that on Oct. 31, 2007, Hopson, acting in his leadership capacity, ordered P-Stone members to seek robbery targets for the purpose of obtaining money and property for the gang. After the order, P-Stones, armed with firearms, sought robbery targets in the Beechmont area. Further, the defendant approved the murder of A.J., member of Thug Relations, a rival of the P-Stones. While A.J. did not come out of his house, at Hopson’s direction, the P-Stones members arrived at A.J.’s home, armed with firearms, and attempted to lure him from the home.
On Nov. 6, 2007, a P-Stone member, acting on Hopson’s orders, lured E.S., a 17-year-old P-Stone member, to a location in Newport News, for the purpose of killing him. Hopson had previously given him the “green light” for the killing of E.S. due to E.S. being friends with members of Thug Relations. Once E.S. arrived at the location, E.S was shot and killed. As a result of the murder, Hopson rewarded the P-Stone member with a promotion.
On Dec. 10, 2008 Hopson authorized the murder of J.W., a Crip who had been disrespectful to members of the P-Stones. Acting on those orders, two P-Stone members went to the home of J.W. and fired multiple rounds into the home. J.W.’s father, who was sitting in the living room when the shooting occurred, was hit with debris from the bullet shrapnel and suffered injury to his eye.
On March 9, 2009, Hopson ordered the murder of two members of 10-1 Mafia Crips, a rival of the P-Stones. Hopson authorized the murder after the two were responsible for the beating of a P-Stone member. Acting on Hopson’s orders, two P-Stone members shot multiple times into the home of the two 10-1 Mafia Crips.
On April 17, 2009, Hopson ordered two P-Stones to fire multiple rounds into a home he knew to be occupied because the individuals inside the home were disrespectful to him.
Hopson ordered the murder of A.J., a Thug Relations member who was responsible for the murder of a P-Stone member. On June 12, 2009, A P-Stone member acting on Hopson’s orders shot at A.J.
The investigation of this case was led by the FBI’s Safe Streets Peninsula Task Force, with the assistance of the Newport News Police Department and the James City County Police Department. Trial Attorney Marianne Shelvey of the Organized Crime and Gang Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric M. Hurt of the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case.