9 Men Arrested In Connection With 2014 Hilltop Gang Violence And Murder Of City Worker
Multiple grand jury indictments have been unsealed against nine people in connection with gang violence in Hilltop neighborhoods in October of 2014. Collectively, the men are accused of being involved in multiple shootings and one case of kidnap and torture.
Officials say a turf war between two groups -- "Zhoove" of Beltzhoover and "Darccide" of St. Clair Village -- led to the murder of Omar Hodges, a City of Pittsburgh refuse worker who was shot while sitting in his car before his shift began.
"He was mistaken for a rival gang member because their cars were very similar, and [Hodges was] parked in the area that the actual target frequented," said Major Crimes Commander Victor Joseph. He added that Hodges was not affiliated with gang activity.
While investigating the October 2014 violence, Pittsburgh Police determined the men were also the subject of a federal drug trafficking investigation.
"These guys were terrorizing Carrick, Beltzhoover, Arlington, and the drug of choice was heroin," said Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala. "So obviously the path they were going down was hurting a lot of people. Maybe not in the short term, but obviously in the long term."
The men could all face "significant" prison sentences, according to city officials.
Pittsburgh Police worked with several law enforcement agencies to investigate the crimes, including the Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Attorney's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.