Today, Attorney General Mark Herring announced that Larry Darnell Boone, a “godfather” of the Mad Stone Bloods gang and an inmate at Haysi Regional Jail, and James T. Brown, an inmate at Red Onion State Prison, were each sentenced to 10 years in the penitentiary for their roles in a complicated plot to abduct and murder the warden of Keen Mountain state prison in Southwest Virginia.
The plot was discovered just days before Boone was set to be released, at which time he intended to help Brown break out of jail and abduct the warden. This case was prosecuted by Phil Figura, Chief Prosecutor of Attorney General Herring’s Organized Crime and Enforcement Unit, working closely with Buchanan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Arrington, the Virginia State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Virginia Department of Corrections.
“We are fortunate this plot was uncovered in time and I appreciate the hard work of all those whose investigations and prosecutions kept these dangerous criminals behind bars,” said Attorney General Herring. “While most inmates serve their time and prepare for a life outside of prison, a hardened few like these men prove they are an ongoing danger to the public and should remain behind bars. Our public servants, including those in our correctional facilities, work hard every day for a successful and secure Commonwealth. We will not tolerate anyone who would make them a target.”
In September, 2013, an anonymous letter revealed correspondence between Brown and Boone regarding a plot to abduct and kill the warden. According to their correspondence, Boone, who was about to be released, would help break Brown out by using an AK-47 during Brown’s visit to a local hospital. The two would then abduct the warden from his home. Boone agreed to participate in the plan in exchange for $5,000.
When interviewed by prison officials, Brown admitted to the plot, confessed that he was trying to raise the needed $5,000 and he said he had attempted to locate the warden’s home.
Separately, Boone was also charged for his role in a complicated plot to kill another inmate over gang affiliations. While incarcerated at Wallens Ridge State Prison, Boone learned that an inmate at Red Onion State Prison was falsely claiming to be a member of his gang, the Mad Stone Bloods. Boone had another inmate write on his behalf to a Mad Stone Blood member in Winchester, Virginia with instructions to relay a coded message via a radio call-in show that broadcasts into both prisons from Kentucky. The phone call was made as specified and the targeted inmate was taken into protective custody.
The Mad Stone Bloods is an extremely violent criminal street gang based in New York City. The gang has chapters up and down the East Coast and has approximately 3,000 members nationwide. Mad Stone Blood members regularly engage in violent crimes such as robberies and murders and they regularly traffic narcotics. The gang is organized along typical Bloods governing rules, with hierarchal power structures, including godfathers like Boone, and visible demonstrations of gang affiliations, including tattoos.
On September 3, 2014, the Honorable Patrick R. Johnson sentenced Brown and Boone in Buchanan County Circuit Court to ten years each of active incarceration. Brown pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to escape and one count of conspiracy to abduct the warden, and Boone pleaded guilty on September 3, 2014 to one count of conspiracy to escape, one count of conspiracy to abduct, and one count of felony gang participation for his role in the plot to kill another inmate.
Boone had been serving time for robbery and other related charges he incurred from Norfolk, Virginia, while Brown is currently serving a 30 year prison sentence for larceny and burglary offenses he committed in South Carolina.
“The teamwork that led to yesterday’s results in the courtroom represents the power of our law enforcement partnerships and why these relationships are critical to protecting dedicated public servants and citizens from violent gangs and criminals who threaten the safety of our communities, said Special Agent in Charge Royce E. Curtin of the Norfolk fbi Field Office. “The fbi is very proud of our participation in this investigation and congratulates all our investigative partners on a job well done.”
“Many of our offenders are taking steps to make positive changes in their lives,” said Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke. “Unfortunately, these two offenders made the decision to blame someone else for their incarceration and they will now be held accountable for their actions. The Commonwealth is fortunate to have dedicated wardens and other corrections professionals who make progress with a challenging population every day.”
“I am grateful to all those who contributed to the success of this prosecution,” said Buchanan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Arrington. “While we live in a close-knit community here in Buchanan County, we are mindful that correctional facilities in the area still house some hardened criminals and that requires vigilance. I want to thank Attorney General Herring and all of those involved in this case for continuing to make Buchanan County a safe and beautiful place to work and live.”