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Dozens of teen gang members charged

(Cleveland) - Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty has announced a crackdown on the Heartless Felons Gang, a group of teenagers now charged with committing crimes, and attacking kids and guards inside the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center.

Investigators say 43 members of the gang have been charged, and range in age from 14 to 18. They’ve been hit with a 437 count complaint, with some charges as serious as racketeering, kidnapping, robbery, and extortion.

Chief Juvenile Prosecutor Duane Deskins says cops quickly captured all the suspects without incident, and they remain in custody.

In addition to operating inside the Juvenile Detention Center, Deskins reports, gang members also carried out crimes in Cleveland neighborhoods. He promises law enforcers will continue their crackdown.


Chief Juvenile Prosecutor Duane Deskins

Deskins claims the gang’s operations were not the result of overcrowding in the detention center. He says the center is far below capacity, and that the crimes occurred because the suspects had little fear of the law, with many victims too afraid to step forward.

Three of the 43 defendants have faced homicide charges in the past. Deskins says he wants new legislation raising the penalties for serious juvenile offenses.

Despite the Heartless Felons crime wave, Deskins says only 2% of juveniles in the system are troublemakers.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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