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Jeff Fort is an American criminal best known as the founder and leader of the Black P. Stone Nation gang. Other crimes have included misuse of federal funds, drug trafficking and attempted terrorism.
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Suspecting the misappropriation of funds, politicians hauled Fort into a U.S. Congressional Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., in order to determine how the money had been used. Only $200,000 had been given out as salaries, leaving $800,000 of the funds unaccounted for. Fort refused to testify, and was indicted for contempt of Congress. The federal grant money was revoked.
In 1972, Fort was convicted for his misuse of federal funds, and was sent to Leavenworth Penitentiary to serve five years for his crimes. During his time at Leavenworth, Fort bulked up, converted to Islam and assumed the name Imam Chief Prince Malik. After his release from prison in 1976, Fort created a new organization, named El Rukn, the loosely translated Arabic word for Black Stone. The Rukns, as they called themselves, bought a former movie theater in Chicago that served as a mosque, a party house, and private business headquarters. They called it The Fort.
But police believed Fort was actually using his newly formed group to peddle drugs—specifically cocaine and heroin. Using the money they accrued from their illegal holdings, Fort and the Rukns bought property around the area to lease to family, friends, prostitutes and drug dealers. At the height of their reign, the Rukns housed more than 300 families.
In 1983, police used information from an informant to track the Rukn's illegal dealings down to Mississippi. Two of Fort's lieutenants were arrested for trafficking, and a wiretap revealed Jeff Fort discussing his drug deals. In November of 1983, Fort was convicted of drug trafficking charges and sentenced to 13 years in prison. He was sent to Terre Haute, Indiana, to serve his sentence and was then transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution at Bastrop, Texas. In Bastrop, Fort was able to lead El Rukn through coded telephone calls from prison. Police monitored the calls, and discovered that Fort was working with Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi and the Libyan government on an arms deal. The gang agreed to trade rockets and a promise to commit terrorist acts in the U.S. in exchange for a $2.5 million loan.
In a 1987 sting by police, Fort and his men were caught trying to make the deal. From prison, Fort was tried and convicted for conspiring with Libya to perform acts of terrorism. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison in Marion, Illinois.
In 1988, Fort was also convicted of ordering the 1981 murder of a rival gang leader. He was sentenced to an additional 75 years in prison. He was transferred to a penitentiary in Florence, Colorado in 2006. He continues to serve his sentence.
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More than 30,000 gangs plague American streets, wreaking havoc from Los Angeles to New York. This violent subculture floods cities with drug traffic, extortion, and even weapons trading. But some members stand apart from others for their fearless attitudes and business savvy. From Leroy "Nicky" Barnes, one of Harlem's biggest drug king pins, to Kody "Monster" Scott, a member of L.A.'s Crips gang by the age of 13, these notorious gangsters have become legendary for rising to the top of their organizations by pushing the limits, no matter the cost.
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