When the FBI began gathering proof that the Schuele Boys were an organized street gang, agents came across some unusual evidence – two rap music videos.
Titled “Front Door” and “Dinner Table,” the videos were produced by Gone Entertainment, a record label the Schuele Boys created to boldly tout the gang’s triumphs, according to prosecutors.
One of the videos shows gang members being served plates of cash while dining at an upscale Northtowns steakhouse while another shows them cooking crack cocaine at a house on its turf just south of the Erie County Medical Center, the government alleges in court papers.
The videos will be made public during the trial of Roderick Arrington, one of just two Schuele Boys members still facing charges. More than 20 other gang members pleaded guilty over the past two years.
“They started out small,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang told jurors last week. “But in the fall of 2004, they hit the jackpot.”
The Schuele Boys operated in the neighborhood between Bailey Avenue and Grider Street, and prosecutors say they created a climate of fear that permeated their community for nearly 15 years.
Arrington’s lawyer says the allegations are exaggerated and suggested the music videos are the government’s only evidence of an organized criminal enterprise.
“All we have is a bunch of freelance drug dealers who grew up on the same street,” defense attorney Andrew C. LoTempio told the jury. “The government made a federal offense out of something that’s a street crime.”
Over time, two fatal shootings, six years apart, came to define the Schuele Boys. Until last week, Arrington was expecting Marcel Worthy, the gang’s alleged ring leader, to join him on trial.
Worthy changed the game plan when he pleaded guilty on the eve of the trial.
“Unequivocally, Arrington was the shooter,” Xiang said of one of the two murders. “He pulled out…