Weather Updates

‘Killing Crew’ leader who enforced no-snitch code gets 25 years in prison

Rashod Bethany

Rashod Bethany

storyidforme: 46580295
tmspicid: 17167400
fileheaderid: 7738856

Updated: April 23, 2013 2:40PM

The reputed leader of a Far South Side crack-cocaine ring whom the feds tied to five murders and numerous beatings was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber said Rashod “Fat Man” Bethany “is guilty of very, very serious crimes that did a huge amount of damage.”

The judge said he gave less than the maximum sentence of 30 years partially to adjust for what Bethany’s defense attorney, Beau Brindley, argued is an unfair discrepancy between the sentencing guidelines for crack and powder cocaine.

Bethany was convicted of conspiracy to sell crack, which carries a bigger prison term than powder under federal sentencing guidelines. He was never charged with the five murders but prosecutors attempted to link him to them to boost his sentence.

Bethany ran two crack houses that operated 24/7, 365 days a years and had a fearsome reputation. He and his thugs called themselves “The Killing Crew” and were said to ruthlessly enforce the no-snitching code to prevent witnesses from talking to police.

The judge said he did not consider the evidence of murders that federal prosecutors tried to link to Bethany.

At his sentencing hearing, Bethany, who was in an orange jail uniform, gave a rambling speech, telling the judge that he admitted to “propaganda” when he was initially questioned after his 2006 arrest.

He asked for leniency but said he accepted responsibility for selling crack cocaine to a government informant.

“The drugs I did sell, I accept responsibility for my actions,” he said. He added that he didn’t victimize crack addicts by having them sell drugs because “basically that’s what I was raised by.”

Bethany was raised in a gang family and learned to bag marijuana and cocaine at an early age, according to a court filing.

“Give him a chance,” Brindley said of his client, adding, “he never had a chance.”

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.