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Federal murder trial begins for leader of Chicago’s Hobos gang under enhanced security

September 7, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Federal murder trial begins for leader of Chicago’s Hobos gang under enhanced security

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Jury selection in the federal  murder trial of seven members of Chicago’s infamous Hobos gang began on Wednesday.

The violent “super gang” terrorized Chicago streets for ten years until 2013, using violence and even death against anybody who attempted to disrupt their drug trade, according to police.

Nine murders have been connected to the Hobos, including the killing of a gang member’s own brother, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Other victims include a police informant, two gang rivals who had just gone to a funeral, a semi-pro basketball player, an innocent witness, and an elderly woman killed in a car wreck as a gang member attempted to flee from police.

Nine murders have been linked to to the gang. Pictured is Paris Poe (left) and the Hobo's notorious leader Gregory 'Bowlegs' Chester (right)

Nine murders have been linked to the gang. Pictured is Paris Poe (left) and the Hobo’s notorious leader Gregory ‘Bowlegs’ Chester (right)

Gregory “Bowlegs” Chester, the leader of the gang who was given his nickname for a birth defect, is the lead defendant in the trial.

The trial, which is being prosecuted by U.S. District John J. Tharp Jr., is expected to go on for months and has created serious security concerns for eyewitnesses and those in the proximity of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

Jurors will remain anonymous as jury selection gets underway on Wednesday, and the judge has issued a black skirting to be placed around the defendant’s seating area in case he is obliged to reassess his decision not to shackle the defendants.

The U.S. Marshals agency is investigating reported threats made against witnesses who are under federal protection.

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Gabriel Bush (left) and William Ford (right) are both linked to the dangerous Chicago gang

The Hobos gang came to fruition over a decade ago, established – as the legends go – with the simple words: “Man, we Hobo. Hobos ‘just sleep and rob.” Once members were initiated, Hobos would get the gang name tattooed alongside the motto “The Earth Is Our Turf.”

The name is believed to have originated as many members, joining from gangs such as the Black Disciples and the Gangster Disciples, came from the now-demolished Ida B. Wells and Robert Taylor public housing complexes.

The Hobos embodied something that law enforcement officials had never observed before; a “super gang” that consisted of rival gang members, who came together to control Chicago’s drugs trade, the Daily Mail reported.

Police blame the armed street gang for the escalating violence rate during their decade in power, as members allegedly committed multiple murders, took part in torture tactics, and even threatened a cop inside a courthouse.

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Police say gang member Arnold Council (left) defended the murder of his informant brother Daniels, while Byron Brown, 29, (right) is already serving 25 years in state prison for murder

The defendants also face charges of burglarizing NBA player Bobby Simmons at gunpoint back in June 2006 outside a nightclub – stealing a white gold necklace worth over $200,000.

The seven Hobos gang members have been linked to nine homicides including the murder of two police informants.

Keith Daniels, the brother of Arnold Council — a member of the Hobos gang, was killed in 2013 after he threatened to snitch against Chester. After his brother’s slaying, Council allegedly supported Daniel’s murder saying it should be used as an example for other relatives.

The 27-year-old victim, who had been relocated to suburban Dolton for protection, was pulling up to his home with his wife and kids in the vehicle when he was hit repeatedly with a sea of bullets.

Daniels’ wife told authorities that she immediately recognized the shooter as 27-year-old Paris “Poleroski” Poe.

A group of the Hobos, including Arnold Council, Gabriel Bush, and Gary Chester (right)

A group of the Hobos, including Arnold Council, Gabriel Bush, and Gary Chester (right)

Poe allegedly managed to hack off his monitoring anklet to track down Daniels before slaying him in front of his family.

The victim’s younger child, who was just four-years-old, told investigators in 2013 that the “Boogie Man” who murdered their stepfather was been wearing a Spiderman mask. However, that is contradictory to his mother’s account.

Prosecutors have opposed the defense’s argument citing that the child and their sibling should not be called to the witness stand because they are not competent due to their age.

Poe is also associated with the death of another informant, drug dealer Wilbert Moore, who was gunned down outside a barbershop back in 2006 after the gang found out that he was working with the police.

He is one of seven Hobos gang members on trial for the nine slayings, along with a myriad of countless shootings, burglaries, and home intrusions.


The trial for the Hobos began today and is expected to last for several months (pictured are Arnold Council, Stanley Vaughn, and Gabriel Bush with a fourth friend, now deceased)

Authorities claim that “Poleroski” is also accountable for the death of Kevin Thompson, an innocent bystander, who was caught in the line of fire during a shootout between the Hobos and a rival group.

Chester was shot by the rival group back in September 2006 while at a car wash, and Poe sought revenge and fired back, striking Thompson, prosecutors reported. Thompson was visiting Chicago from Los Angeles to visit family members for his 42nd birthday.

If convicted, Poe faces life behind bars.

Federal prosecutors maintain that Chester is the “undisputed” leader of the violent gang, building up his street cred early on in his life with a string of armed robberies with gang member Gabriel Bush in the 1990s.

Bush is also on trial, along with fellow members William Ford and Stanley Vaughn.

Federal prosecutors included this photo of Gabriel Bush (fourth from left) in a court filing. They say it is from a trip to Hawaii with five friends that Bush paid for. Bush is among the members of the Hobos gang whose trial starts this week.

Federal prosecutors included this photo of Gabriel Bush (fourth from left) in a court filing. They say it is from a trip to Hawaii with five friends that Bush paid for. Bush is among the members of the Hobos gang whose trial starts this week.

Despite the fact Chester is the leader of the group, Poe is facing accusations for committing some of the most brutal crimes on trial.

Aside from the multiple homicides, Poe – who has an incorrectly spelled tattoo that says “Cheif Hobo” has confessed to his part in the 2009 home invasion and torture of two alleged drug dealers.

The brothers were dragged to the floor, gagged, and burned with an iron during the assault. One of the gang members threatened to set them on fire.

The victims told authorities that the crime only ended when one of the members, who was holding what appeared to be a police scanner, suddenly yelled out “Let’s go!”

During a taped jail call, Chester stated: “This motherf***er crazy. Poe. Poe. He crazy.”

The Hobos gang are also responsible for the death of 24-year-old semi-pro basketball player Eddie Moss Jr., who had come back home to Chicago from Portugal to attend his mother’s funeral.

He was shot and killed execution style down outside his parents’ home, in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity.

Prosecutors allege that Hobos gang member Byron Brown had forced the basketball player onto the ground and discharged his firearm into Moss, wrongly believing that he was a part of a rival gang.

Brown was already found guilty of another gang-related murder of the elderly woman Ruth Freeman, who was killed in 2008 when the man fled through a red light and collided with her car as he escaped from authorities.

He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012 but could now face additional time.

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