5 members of 'Guardians' gang sentenced to federal prison

Authorities say men responsible for home invasions, bank robberies


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five members of a gang known as the "Guardians" were sentenced to federal prison Friday.

According to the court, Maynard Godwin, 33, Andrew Wilkie, 31, and Eric Ellis, 28, were convicted of conspiracy and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as RICO. The three of them were each sentenced to more than 20 years in federal prison.

Billy James Harper, 31, and Brock Skov, 32, and Jonathan Hart, 31, were convicted of violating the RICO Act. Skov was sentenced to three years, five months in federal prison, and Harper was sentenced to eight years, four months in federal prison. A sentencing date for their sixth member, Hart, has not yet been scheduled.

According to authorities, the gang members were an organization said to be responsible for multiple armed home invasion robberies, armed bank robberies, extortion, witness intimidation, possession of illegal firearms, distribution of stolen merchandise and the distribution of cocaine, oxycodone and anabolic steroids.

Godwin had formed his own gang inspired by the television show "Sons of Anarchy," according to court documents.  Godwin called himself the "Boss," Wilkie was called the "Enforcer," Harper was known as the "Lieutenant" and Skov was called the "Technician." Ellis and Hart were said by authorities to be associates of the gang.

Authorities say arrests were made in November 2010 when an investigation revealed that the gang was preparing to commit additional home invasion robberies. The robberies committed by the Guardians resulted in the loss of almost $2 million to their victims.