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Attorney General Bill McCollum Press Release
Two South Florida Gang Members Convicted in Criminal Racketeering Trial
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum announced that two members of the Top-6 criminal gang were convicted tonight by a Palm Beach County jury on criminal charges of racketeering, and one of the defendants was also convicted of numerous other criminal charges. The two men are among 12 who were arrested earlier this year during a coordinated operation by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw’s Office, and the Police Departments for Lantana and Boynton Beach.
The jury returned guilty verdicts against Jessee Thomas, 22, for criminal racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, two counts of possession of paraphernalia, resisting without violence, and possessing forged notes, bills, checks, or drafts. Thomas, also known as “Black” or "Blackman," faces up to 77 years in prison when sentenced next week. Also convicted was Ernst Exavier, 25, of criminal racketeering. Exavier, also known as “Shotgun,” faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced, also next week. The two men, both of Lake Worth, were indicted by the 18th Statewide Grand Jury in June.
The Top-6 gang is a violent Haitian group that has been connected to a number of murders, both as assailants and victims. The specific charges against these men related to sales of narcotics, violent crime, and gun charges including possession of firearms as convicted felons and possession of firearms with altered or removed serial numbers.
The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution in the 15th Judicial Circuit and Judge Karen Miller presided over the case. The remaining gang members are set for trial at a date in the future.
Photos of the two men are available online at: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/KGRG-7LWUNF/$file/Top-6-a.jpg (Ernst Exavier) and http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/KGRG-7LWUNY/$file/Top-6-b.jpg. In "Top-6-B," Jessee Thomas is on the left and Ernst Exavier is in the middle. The third defendant's face is hidden because he is still awaiting trial.