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Members of gang called Savage Life Boys convicted for shootings over 'perceived disrespect'

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Members of the gang Savage Life Boys from Davenport, Iowa, have been convicted of racketeering charges, along with multiple weapons charges in relation to shootings, according to the United States Justice Department.

Two men named Najawaun Quinn, 26, and Dimetri Smith, 30, were convicted by a federal jury after a seven-day trial for their involvement in multiple shootings.

Court documents and evidence from the trial state that during 2016 and 2017, the two men were involved in multiple shootings as "members of the Savage Life Boys (SLB), a Davenport-based street gang."

The shootings include an incident at a residential home in Davenport in October 2016, another shooting at the NorthPark Mall in Davenport in January 2017, as well as a shooting at Centennial Park in Davenport in April 2017.

Quinn was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and felon in possession of a firearm. Smith was found guilty of two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and two counts of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

The pair was also involved in a separate homicide in February 2017 at the Hotel Davenport, from which a fellow gang member named Darion Gardner, 27, pled guilty to racketeering charges and was sentenced to 450 months in prison.

The men participated in the events with the intention of either maintaining or increasing their position within the SLB gang, according to the DOJ, as the shootings were in response to "perceived disrespect" to the SLB from a rival gang.

“We will continue to pursue and aggressively prosecute those individuals and groups of individuals that choose to commit violent crimes," says U.S. attorney Richard Westphal.

"This investigation, trial and hard work of our partners at the Davenport Police Department exemplifies our joint commitment to using every tool available to combat gun violence and protect the communities we serve," the federal attorney added.

Davenport, Iowa's, Police Chief Jeffery Bladel commented on the cooperation between his department and the federal agencies, saying "the tremendous work of our investigators and federal partners delivered justice for those impacted by these violent crimes."

"This case demonstrates the outstanding partnership and collaboration between federal prosecutors and local law enforcement that is vital to keeping our community safe," the police chief added.

Quinn and Smith have yet to be sentenced.

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