April 15, 2020 — Legendary Chicago gang leader Larry Hoover is hoping the First Step Act, championed by Windy City rap god Kanye West and signed into law by President Donald Trump more a year ago, opens up the prison gates for him. A pair of his top lieutenants were set free in recent months due to the act of legislation allowing inmates to seek sentence reductions.
The 69-year old Hoover is the boss of the Gangster Disciples, one of the biggest organized crime groups in America. He’s been behind bars for almost five decades and currently resides in the Federal Supermax facility in Florence, Colorado, a prison reserved for the nation’s most high-profile and dangerous felons. Lawyers for Hoover filed motions in U.S. District Court in Illinois for consideration regarding a sentence reduction under the First Step Act. Hoover isn’t scheduled for release until April 2064.
Back in November, former GD “junior boss” Johnny (Crusher) Jackson was released from federal custody when U.S. District Court Judge Harry Leinenberger lifted his life sentence. Former Southside Chicago GD shot-caller William (Too Short) Edwards got out of his 100-year term late last summer courtesy of a Leinenberger ruling.
Both Jackson, 47, and Edwards, 48, went down with Hoover in 1995’s Operation Headache bust, where the feds nailed Hoover for running GD street activity through the two eager upstarts and his second-in-charge Greg (Shorty G) Shell. Hoover was doing a life sentence for the 1973 slaying of William (Pookie) Young and had publicly re-branded himself a community activist in order to get placed in a low-security prison unit.
Shell, Jackson and Edwards visited Hoover frequently in the Vienna Correctional Institute in Vienna, Illinois, where the FBI succeeded in recording their conversations related to GD business in the visiting room by outfitting visitor badges with tiny hidden microphones. Edwards discovered his visitor’s badge was wired for sound on a trip to the bathroom in 1993 on a visit with Hoover. They were all convicted in 1997.
According to the Operation Headache indictment, Hoover’s orders would relay from Shell to Edwards and then from Edwards to Jackson on the ground at the old Robert Taylor Homes projects. Edwards controlled giant portions of Southside drug-dealing turf and Jackson was tasked with overseeing the teenage street dealers out of the Taylor projects day-to-day. Hoover had them installing a “one day” policy at that time, telling GDs and independent pushers in the area they were required to pay one day a week’s worth of drug sales to Hoover on the inside for protection.
The 62-year old Shell is seeking a release under the First Step Act as well. If Hoover gets sprung via the act, he’ll still have to seek an additional sentence reduction from the state court for his conviction in the Pookie Young murder case.
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