Jacksonville police: Gang member charged in Westside shooting death
Police say they expect more gang-related arrests to follow
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A gang member is charged in a December 2016 shooting death on the city's Westside, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced Friday.
Hason Smiley, 33, whose a member of the Rollin 20s gang, is facing a charge of murder, police said.
"(Smiley) is currently being held on multiple violent crimes, ranging from armed robberies to attempted murder," JSO Lt. Ellis Burns said.
Ramon Anderson, 37, was found shot to death on Dec. 21, 2016, in the yard of a house under construction on Catoma Street in the Wesconnett area, police said.
Investigators said they believe it started as a robbery setup.
The Sheriff's Office has made it clear it's ramping up efforts to get suspected gang members off the streets.
Earlier this week, an undercover investigation of a different Jacksonville gang resulted in 10 arrests for racketeering, including two men and one woman being charged in connection to murder cases.
Donald Foy is the president of the Jacksonville chapter of MAD DADS, a group working to combat gang violence. He said he’s watched for more than 20 years as the problem has overtaken parts of the city -- an issue that was all but ignored by city leaders for years.
"They’re not what we would call a set of Bloods or Crips, but they do have the gangs on the Westside. They have the gangs in Paxon. They have the gangs on the Northside," Foy said. "So, we do have a problem.”
Foy said he's encouraged by the recent work of Sheriff Mike Williams and JSO.
The arrest of 10 members of Jacksonville’s Problem Child Entertainment gang is just the tip of the iceberg, according to police.
Foy had his own message for gang members throughout the city.
“Our community is in danger. If you’re just running out here, shooting -- drive-by shootings and all that -- I’m in danger, all other families are in danger," Foy said. "So for those who don’t want to receive it, then we’re going to help you too. We’re going to help you, too, by locking you up.”
Police said Friday that they expect more gang-related arrests to follow.
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