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Seven Mile Bloods street gang leader convicted of racketeering, murder, & more

DETROIT, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - A leader of the Seven Mile Bloods street gang was convicted Friday on 22 counts after a six-week trial, the United States Attorney's Office Eastern District of Michigan announced. 

Billy Arnold, 37, was convicted of RICO conspiracy, two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, 10 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and multiple firearm counts.

The Seven Mile Bloods operated on the east side of Detroit, between Gratiot Avenue and Kelly Road, and between Seven and Eight Mile Roads, evidence shows. 

According to the attorney's office, Seven Mile Bloods or "SMB" members claimed this area as their territory and referred to it as the "Red Zone." The area is in zip code 48205, which SMB members referred to as "4-8-2-0-Die."

The ongoing gang war between Seven Mile Bloods and an alliance of other gangs operating on Detroit's east side stems from a murder that Arnold committed in July 2014, according to evidence. 

Arnold, who was on parole at the time, encountered two rival gang members during a meeting at a parole office in Detroit, the attorney's office said. 

After the meeting, Arnold waited outside the parole office until the rival gang member left and followed the members and their two companions a short distance before opening fire, according to the attorney's office.

One of the victims died and another was seriously injured, the attorney's office said.  

After the murder, the Seven Mile Bloods and rival gangs started violently attacking one another, posting "hit lists" on social media, the attorney's office said. 

In 2015, during a one-month span, Arnold murdered one rival gang member, and shot many others, the attorney's office said. 

One of the victims was paralyzed due to the shooting. 

Arnold also shot a 15-year-old while he was on his first day of work, the attorney's office said. 

He shot the victim while trying to murder a rival gang member who was standing near the victim in the parking lot, the attorney's office said.  

The 15-year-old and the rival gang member survived the shooting.  

Arnold and another Seven Mile Blood member were arrested on Sept. 26, 2015, following a high-speed chase in Detroit, the attorney's office said.  

According to law enforcement, an assault rifle was recovered from the vehicle that was used in one murder and several other shootings.  

The investigation resulted in a seizure of more than 20 firearms, including several high-powered assault rifles. 

Arnold is the 20th member or associate of the Seven Mile Bloods to be convicted as a result of the investigation, the attorney's office said.  

"This guilty verdict is the final chapter in the case of the Seven Mile Bloods - a gang who for years terrorized the residents living on the east of Detroit," U.S. Attorney Ison said. "The case against SMB, and against Billy Arnold in particular, is an example of what can happen when we focus on those few responsible for so much violence. With today's verdict, and with the sentence required by law for Billy Arnold, the men and women in our community who were victimized by this group will receive some measure of justice. And with today's verdict, and with the help of the vast majority of the residents of this neighborhood who want peace, we can once and for all put the terrible carnage of the "Red Zone" behind us."

Arnold is scheduled to be sentenced on April 10, 2024. He faces mandatory life in prison. 

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