Cape Girardeau police chief reacts to those arrested on federal racketeering charges

Updated: Jan. 26, 2021 at 5:34 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Multiple murders, drug trafficking and violent assaults.

Three Cape Girardeau men face federal murder and other charges. These men are accused of being leaders in Missouri’s branch of the 70-year-old gang Gangster Disciples.

A man from Charleston, Mo. was also charged with conspiracy as a gang member.

”You know I don’t think that we should be surprised anywhere in the U.S. that somebody might be residing in a city that’s affiliated with a gang. So, to say, should we be surprised I would say no,” said Wes Blair, Cape Girardeau police chief.

Blair is talking about the arrest of three Cape Girardeau men accused of being members of the Gangster Disciples.

In a 25-page indictment, federal prosecutors charged Sean Clemon, Dominque Maxwell and Perry Harris with 10 felony counts for their alleged involvement in gang activity from 2018 to 2020.

Federal authorities said Clemon, Maxwell and Harris traveled to Bridgeton, Missouri in April 2018 to kill another gang member on orders from one the Disciples’ national board members.

Chief Blair said most of the time a gang’s violent activity is directed at its own members.

“Gangs are not too interested in drawing attention to themselves by targeting average citizen because that disrupts their ability to, basically they’re established to try to make a profit and so they don’t want to bring a whole lot of attention to themselves by targeting individual citizens,” he said.

Federal prosecutors said the violence did make its way to Cape Girardeau, where Maxwell and Harris are accused of shooting and wounding someone in June 2018.

Blair credited the ongoing partnership between federal, state and local agencies for the arrests and said the case should not cause residents to worry about their own safety.

“Again, there’s always one-off gang occurrences and that’s something we always monitor. But I don’t think the public at large is at risk of being a victim of national gang violence,” he said.

Clemon, Maxwell and Harris could all face the federal death penalty if convicted.

It’s not clear yet when the suspects in this case will appear before a federal judge.

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