Heroin gang leader gets 11 years in federal prison

A lead member of the former “Tat Gang,” which operated from 2012 through January 2014 in a grand conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine to users in Williamsport and Lycoming and Tioga counties, was sentenced Friday to serve 11 years in a federal prison.

Malik S. Hannibal, 31, formerly of Williamsport, was considered one of the main conspirators who brought the drugs from Philadelphia to Williamsport in vehicles. He was sentenced by U.S. Middle District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann. The judge made guidelines finding that Hannibal had a supervisory role in the conspiracy.

Known by his street name, “Snow,” Hannibal was among those who have received long prison sentences in the case, according to federal prosecutors. Also sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison was Arnell A. Monroe, 34, of Williamsport, known as “Jigga.”

Some others in the gang received lesser sentences five years – with one man dying after he was arrested and others awaiting their sentencings.

The gang operated multiple vehicles, bringing in the narcotics and other controlled substances, such as crack cocaine and powder cocaine, from Philadelphia. They brought them to residences in the 900 block of Wayne Avenue and 2100 block of Third Street in Williamsport, where the drugs were processed, stored and packaged for sales to users, according to prosecutors.

The gang bought, sold and traded firearms in exchange for cash and controlled substances and used mobile phones, social media and multiple vehicles to conduct drug distribution activities, according to the federal grand jury indictment.

Hannibal pleaded guilty on July 8, 2014, to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and 28 grams or more of cocaine.

Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and city police arrested Hannibal, Monroe and Joey Lehigh Elmore, 26, of Philadelphia, also known as “Yolo,” in 2013.

Also previously sentenced to five-year federal prison terms were: Derrick Malik Savage, 20, of Philadelphia, also known as “Maybach;” Theodore Shockley III; Steven Oliver Singletary; and Sharif Jones.

Members of the gang who have pleaded guilty who are scheduled to be sentenced include: Zuriel Ahki Love, 20, of Philadelphia, also known as “Poppy;” Alphonso Batten, of Philadelphia; and Elmore.

Former gang member Lamont Chyanne Blount, 23, of Philadelphia, who was arrested by police there on Jan. 15, 2014, died later that year.

State police arrested Savage in the early-morning hours of Jan. 16, 2014, on Interstate 80, near the Interstate 81 exit.

City police, state police and the FBI investigated the case. The U.S. Marshals Service also assisted in apprehending the co-defendants.

City Police Chief David J. Young said Monday federal sentences are without possibility of parole.