Making money from Motown: The cash flow group was Detroit’s first street gang stung in a federal RICO case 25 years ago

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Oct. 4, 2022 — Feds in Detroit have ensnared the Cash Flow Posse in a landmark 1997 RICO case, ending the transformative reign of the Waucaush brothers, “Quick” and “Brutus.”

At the time, the RICO Act had never before been used against an urban street gang. The case celebrated its 25th anniversary this summer. The State of Michigan also sued the Cash Flow Posse. For years, underground and mainstream Motor City rappers have ticked off “CFP” in their lyrics.

“In the Southwest, CFP’s legacy resonates as loudly on the streets as BMF,” said a source comparing CFP’s reputation to that of the Black Mafia Family, the Southwest team that took over the game from the drug of the country in the 2000s. “These boys have money, they have respect and love because they gave respect and love to everyone. It’s a thing of the South West. We’re not like the Eastside or the Westside, we do things our way. That was CFP.

Brutus Waucaush will walk free this week. He is 48 and has spent most of the past 25 years behind bars after pleading uncontested in the case and being sentenced to three decades in prison.

The July 1997 indictment was the first time federal prosecutors at Motown nailed a street gang under the RICO Act. Previously, CCE (continuing criminal enterprise) was the most employed legal weapon by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.

There were a total of five murders and seven shootings and assaults included in the case, including the 1994 homicides of Evan Ison, Jimmy Goings and an innocent teenage girl named Annie Johnson. Ison and Goings were both PCP rivals and known for antagonizing the Waucaush brothers and their associates, per court

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Set in the dark shadow of the Ambassador Bridge, southwest Detroit is a melting pot of community, with low-income Hispanics, blacks and Caucasians all residing in the area for nearly a century. The Waucaush brothers, Jerry (Quick) Waucaush and Robert (Brutus) Waucaush, founded the Cash Flow Posse as teenagers in 1989.

The CFP was started in response to a turf war raging in the area, led by the Latin Counts and Spanish Cobras, street gangs from Chicago who came to town during the crack era and adopted a mixture of races among its ranks. The Latin Counts won the war and aligned themselves with CFP, instead of opposing them.

Quick and Brutus commissioned a graffiti campaign to announce their arrival at the big time; a slew of local buildings, bridges, and alley walls were soon labeled with Cash Flow Posse designs and territory markings. As it gained a national following, rap group Insane Clown Posse featured CFP screams in their song lyrics.

The Cash Flow Posse’s #1 enforcer, Efraim (12 gauge) Garcia, was the trigger for all five murders the organization was linked to in the 1997 case. On July 17, 1994, Garcia shot and killed Jimmy Goings, also killing accidentally his 15-year-old niece, Annie Johnson. Four months later, on November 26, 1994, he killed the Spanish cobra Evan Ison.

Garcia shot Goings and Ison at close range. Jimmy Goings and Quick Waucaush had been arguing over a girl and had a fist fight earlier that afternoon the day Goings was killed in a hail of bullets on his sister’s porch. The Waucaush brothers’ top lieutenant, Greg (Shortstop) Ballestero. drove the 12-gauge getaway car for Garcia during the two fatal shootings in 1994, when he was on leave from service in the United States Marine Corps.

“Gauge leaves no witnesses,” an informant told federal authorities.

“12 gauge” Garcia, 53, is serving his life in state prison. Quick Waucaush, 50, pleaded guilty and was released in 2010.

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