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Life imprisonment for Seven Mile Bloods gang leader convicted of racketeering and murder

DETROIT – The head of the Seven Mile Bloods (SMB) gang has been handed a life sentence in prison following a conviction in December 2023 on 22 charges, including racketeering conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, and related firearms offenses.

Billy Arnold, aged 37, was found guilty of RICO Conspiracy, two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, 10 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and multiple firearm charges on Wednesday (April 10).

The verdict was reached after a six-week trial conducted in the Eastern District of Michigan.

Legal documents unveiled evidence pointing to the operational base of the Seven Mile Bloods on the east side of Detroit, situated between Gratiot Avenue and Kelly Road spanning 7 and 8 Mile roads.

The SMB members laid claim to this territory, dubbing it the “Red Zone.” With the zip code 48205, the area was ominously referred to as “4-8-2-0-Die.”

According to court records, the 37-year-old individual and his cohort were embroiled in a longstanding gang conflict with a coalition of rival gangs on the east side of Detroit, originating from a homicide he committed in July 2014.

Authorities stated that Arnold encountered two adversaries from a rival gang during a meeting at a parole office in Detroit. Subsequent to the meeting, Arnold, aged 37, loitered outside the parole office until the rival gang member exited.

Arnold proceeded to tail the rival and their two companions for a short distance before opening fire, resulting in the fatality of one victim and severe injury to another.

Legal documents detailed a series of violent altercations initiated by Arnold and the SMB, including the circulation of respective “Hit Lists” on social media subsequent to the initial murder.

In the course of one month in 2015, Arnold was responsible for the murder of a rival gang member and the shooting of several others, escalating tensions.

Court records indicate that Arnold left one victim paralyzed while the individual was escorting his two daughters to school. Additionally, he shot a 15-year-old victim on the victim’s first day of work at a banquet hall in Roseville.

The teenager was wounded during Arnold’s attempt to assassinate a rival gang member who was in proximity to the victim in a parking lot. Both victims survived the assault.

Law enforcement officials reported that Arnold and another SMB member were apprehended subsequent to a high-speed pursuit in Detroit on September 26, 2015.

Following the pursuit, authorities recovered an assault rifle from the vehicle, which had been employed in one homicide and multiple other shootings.

Further investigations led to the confiscation of over 20 firearms, including numerous high-caliber assault rifles.

“The most severe penalties are reserved for the gravest offenses and offenders. They are reserved for individuals like Billy Arnold, who took multiple lives, attempted to take many others, and instilled fear in an entire community.”

“Through this verdict, Arnold’s victims have attained a modicum of justice. This ruling also serves as a warning to others. To those who perpetrate acts of violence: Such actions will no longer be tolerated. And to the vast majority of the residents of the “Red Zone” and across Detroit and the Eastern District of Michigan, who simply desire to live in peace: We stand with you.

“We will stand beside you, striving each day to prevent violence. Yet, in instances where it does occur, we will stand with you then as well. We will leverage all available resources to ensure that those who persist in such violence are brought to justice.”

U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison

“Local gangs like the Seven Mile Bloods employ violence and threats of firearm usage to propagate fear within the community.

“This sentencing serves as a signal that the FBI’s Violent Gang Task Force will persist in opposing those who partake in street violence and reprisals to safeguard the populace of Detroit. I extend my appreciation to the dedicated men and women of our task force for their unwavering commitment and diligence throughout this investigation.”

Cheyvoryea Gibson, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan