State Sues Gang and Its Rap Label

     CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CN) – North Carolina and Charlotte sued a gang and its record label, claiming the gang uses its hip-hop label to promote its drug deals, armed robberies and drive-by shootings.
     North Carolina and Charlotte sued the Hidden Valley Kings aka HVK aka ICEE Money [the record label], and three men: Wendell McCain, Kevin Funderbunk and Cordell Blair, in Mecklenburg County Court.
     Charlotte claims it has no other adequate means of stopping gang members from associating with one another to plan and commit crimes.
     The defendants claim Northeast Charlotte neighborhood of Hidden Valley as its turf.
     The gang was formed in the late 1980s, and gained national attention when it was featured in an episode of “Gangland,” titled “Killing Snitches,” which was broadcast in 2009.
     The city claims that the gang, which has developed a social hierarchy comprised of member “tiers,” maintains a high profile via its rap label, ICEE Money, which stands for “I see money.”
     “According to its members, ICEE is a record label that promotes gangster rap,” the state and city say in the lawsuit. “However, public source information provided by the ‘promoters’ on YouTube and Twitter accounts, along with interviews conducted by police with ICEE associates, clearly indicates that ICEE is predominately comprised of Tier 1 HVK members is being operated as a front for HVK.
     “On information and belief, one of HVK’s criminal gang activities is the organized sale and distribution of marijuana. The money from the sales is used in part to purchase firearms and provide income to Tier 1 members. Its members are known to carry large amounts of cash and have admitted to police officers that they are not otherwise lawfully employed.
     “On information and belief, Tier 3 members or Baby Gangsters (BGs) are required to perform ‘licks’ in order to gain recognition. Licks are acts taken to benefit HVK and consist of such criminal offenses as the sale of illegal drugs and the commission of armed robberies. An example of a lick is the incident the occurred on June 18, 2013, when a Tier 3 member, Jaquez Walker attempted to rob a CMPD [Charlotte Municipal Police Department] informant after selling him a small amount of marijuana, whereby the informant was shot by Walker and Walker was in turn shot and killed by police. Jaquez Walker was a self-admitted Tier 3 member of HVK and was 17y years old at the time of his death.
     “On information and belief, HVK is believed to be responsible for several drive-by shootings which are deployed to protect their turf or to retaliate against other gangs or persons. While the Hidden Valley Neighborhood in general is a safe place to live, the increase in HVK’s violent actions threatens the health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood and surrounding areas.”
     The state and city claim: “The citizens who live and work in the Hidden Valley community are suffering immediate and irreparable harm in that they are being denied the quiet enjoyment of their homes and businesses due to the criminal street gang activity engaged in by the defendants and other indentified gang members.”
     The city seeks an injunction under the North Carolina Street Gang Nuisance Act, to prohibit gang members and associates from criminal gang activity.
     The injunction would prohibit HVK members from driving, sitting, standing, walking, gathering or appearing anywhere in public with other gang members, except to attend church, school or counseling.
     The city and state are represented by City Attorney Robert Hagemann.

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