An arrest was made by federal agents this week.
The Tennessean reported Friday that a judge Thursday bound the case against 35-year-old Faith Readus over to a grand jury and ordered her detained. She is accused in a criminal complaint of conspiring to aid in an attempt to spring Jamal Shakir from federal custody.
Court records show Shakir's planned escape was part of a plot to renew his criminal enterprise known as the Rollin' 90 Crips.
"Even jail bars don't necessarily stop communication and plots" between gang members, federal prosecutor Sunny A.M. Koshy told the newspaper.
The woman's appointed attorney, Jennifer Thompson of Nashville, said at the hearing that such a plot was ridiculous. Thompson said it was "really outrageous she's being charged when the plan is to get a homemade helicopter kit and learn to drive the helicopter by taking a couple of classes." The defense attorney could not be reached by telephone for comment Friday.
Shakir faces multiple life sentences for arranging drug deals and murders, executing power over a gang enterprise that stretched from Los Angeles to Nashville. Shakir was convicted in May 2008 of orchestrating a nationwide drug ring from his home in East Nashville, laundering money and killing nine people between 1994 and 1997. He is being held at the Davidson County Criminal Justice Center, awaiting a federal sentencing hearing.
An FBI agent's affidavit says that employees at the jail intercepted a letter Shakir had tried to mail on Sept. 2. In the letter, Shakir discussed drug trafficking, robbery, assaults and plans to have three people murdered, court records show.
In a second letter written a week later, Shakir allegedly detailed plans to reorganize the Rollin' 90 Crips "to bring structure and order to our tribe."
The recipient of both letters, Christopher Conyers of Nashville, was arrested on Sept. 11, two days after authorities recorded a phone conversation he had with Shakir.
Federal agents found a loaded semiautomatic handgun in the trunk of Conyers' car while serving a search warrant. He was jailed on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
The escape scheme involved Conyers and Readus getting a small, kit-built helicopter to be used in Shakir's intended escape. Readus is accused of researching different types of helicopters and getting information on flight training.
In a letter to Readus, Shakir said that "without a true strong King, there can be no stable queen."