July 30, 2014
The boss of a Chicago heroin ring should receive extra prison time for his alleged involvement in three killings and an attempted murder, federal prosecutors say.
Domingo “Mingo” Blount, who’s been arrested more than 40 times, pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in November.
Blount was the suspected shooter in a Chicago murder in 2000, according to the government. Prosecutors also are raising the possibility that he was involved in Chicago killing in 1991 and a third one in Cincinnati in 2011.
Blount, 39, was never charged in those slayings, but federal prosecutors are using evidence of them — and a .40-caliber pistol recovered from his home in 2011 — to ask for a higher sentence in his drug case.
Blount admits he sold more than 10 kilograms of heroin between 2010 and 2011. At a hearing Friday, the government will seek a sentence of 25 to 30 years.
His attorney, Gerald Collins, says Blount should receive the mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years.
The shootings “have nothing to do with the charged conspiracy,” Collins said in a court filing.
But assistant U.S. attorney Sheri Mecklenburg pointed out that while Blount provided letters from supporters for the court to review, those letters “have nothing to do with the conspiracy for which he is being sentenced.”
“Blount’s life of drug dealing was intertwined with guns,” Mecklenburg added in a court filing.
In her sentencing memo, Mecklenburg detailed the July 3, 2000, murder of Antonio Jones, who was shot in the face while sitting in a car with his girlfriend. She was wounded in the hip.
Blount, the alleged shooter, then pointed a gun at a bystander who witnessed the shootings and said: “Mind your business,” prosecutors said. Detectives learned that a man named “Mingo” shot Jones and the woman. A witness identified Blount as the shooter, but Jones’ girlfriend didn’t.
The Cook County state’s attorney declined to charge Blount with Jones’ murder because there was only one eyewitness, federal prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said there’s also evidence that Blount was at the scene of a murder in a Chicago Housing Authority elevator on Dec. 24, 1991. And prosecutors said there’s evidence that Blount told a friend he “took care of” a Cincinnati man who didn’t pay for heroin from Blount’s ring. The man was killed on Feb. 18, 2011.
Federal prosecutors are using the same sentencing strategy in the unrelated drug case of Jason “J Rock” Austin. They’re saying evidence that Austin allegedly killed off-duty Chicago Police Officer James Soto and his friend Kathryn Romberg in 2008 should lead to a stiffer sentence in a separate drug case. Austin was charged in Cook County Criminal Court with the killings but was later released when witnesses recanted.
At a hearing next month, prosecutors are expected to seek a prison term of 40 years to life for Austin.