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Attorney General Bill McCollum Press Release
Third Shift Gang Member Receives 60-Year Prison Sentence
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced a Manatee County gang member was convicted late Friday night of criminal racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. Ryan Simmons, a member of the Third Shift criminal street gang operating in Manatee County, was sentenced to 60 years in prison. Simmons’ sentence is the longest ever handed down to a gang member since the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution began using the racketeering statute to prosecute criminal gangs.
Simmons, 25, and his fellow Third Shift members used their gang to control the drug trade in Manatee County. The gang is known as the Third Shift gang because they allegedly engage in most of their criminal activity during the third shift of the night. Other criminal activities tied to the gang include weapons charges and resisting arrest. Simmons, of Bradenton, was arrested in May 2008 by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Simmons and other members of his gang are being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution under the jurisdiction of the State Attorney’s Office for the 12th Judicial Circuit. Nine members of the Third Shift gang have been sentenced to a collective total of 178 years in prison. Two remaining defendants are in custody awaiting sentencing.