COLUMBIA ⎯ Three Columbia brothers pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to their involvement with the Cut Throat gang in drug trafficking and the use of illegal firearms, according to a news release from United States Attorney Matt J. Whitworth.
That makes eight of the 16 people initially indicted in January who have pleaded guilty to charges related to their involvement with the Cut Throat gang.
Eric Sherron Coats, 21, and his brother Dametrell Koda Washington, 28, both pleaded guilty to being involved in distributing crack cocaine, powder cocaine and marijuana from January 2007 to January 2009, the release states. They also admitted to being involved with the Cut Throat gang in the distribution of narcotics and illegally possessing firearms used to aid them in drug trafficking.
Eric Coats, identified by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence Miller as the leader of the Cut Throat gang, also admitted involvement with several others in pursuing a member of a rival gang whom they thought was responsible for the shooting of a Cut Throat gang member in June 2007. They attempted several times to find the shooter, reportedly in hopes of getting revenge, the release states. This led to a drive-by shooting at a Break Time gas station on May 31, 2008, in which a 29-year-old male bystander survived after being shot in the face.
Koda Alshawn Coats, 23, pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, the release states. He also admitted to throwing a bag containing crack cocaine out of a vehicle being pursued by police on May 11, 2007. Additionally, he pleaded guilty to involvement in drug trafficking with the Cut Throat gang.
Each of the defendants are subject to a minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole and could be sentenced to life in prison without parole, the release states. The hearings will be scheduled after the United States Probation Office completes its investigation.