RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A three-judge panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to uphold the trial convictions and multiple life sentences for two Bloods gang leaders.

They were convicted on charges of racketeering, drug trafficking, and gang-related murders.

“These gang leaders used gun violence, intimidation, and murder to terrorize parts of Raleigh for nearly two decades” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “The Court’s ruling ensures they will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.  We will never stop seeking justice for victims of gun violence and we will ensure sentences reflect the severity of the crime committed.”  

Demetrice R. Devine, known as “Respect,” of Garner and Brandon Jowan Mangum, known as “B-Easy,” of Knightdale were convicted in October 2019.

In 2020, Devine was sentenced to four consecutive terms of life imprisonment followed by a term of 240 months imprisonment and 5 years supervised release. 

Mangum was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences plus 240 months in prison. Both appealed their sentences which were eventually rejected by the Court.

Evidence presented at trial and other public documents said Devine was the leader of the Gangsta Killer Bloods before creating the Black Mob Gangstas. The group later became part of the Donald Gee Family organization. 

Both organizations fell under the Bloods gang who operated in the Haywood Street area of Raleigh. 

Mangum was another high-ranking member of the gang. Members are accused of committing acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang and against non-gang members.

Some of those acts were believed to have included murder, attempted murder, and assaults.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of Eastern North Carolina said Devine ordered members of his gang to shoot a 16-year-old rival gang member, Adarius Fowler.

He died from gunshot wounds. He also ordered a gang member to shoot a person who provided information to police about Fowler’s murder.

Court documents said Mangumalong with other gang members, conspired to shoot an 18-year-old rival gang member, Rodriguez Burrell for refusing to pay money to the gang.

Burrell was shot multiple times in the front of his father and died.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that “Devine’s desire for ‘respect’ at all costs led to the murder of Adarius Fowler, while the Gangstas’ insatiable desire for ‘money’ led to the execution of Rodriguez Burrell. This collective malevolence . . . led to a neighborhood where so many deserved so much better and where respect for the old and opportunities for the young existed no longer.”

The prosecution of Devine and Mangum was a part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation targeting violent gang members and drug traffickers in Raleigh.