CLEVELAND - A gang that once existed only in Ohio prisons is now operating throughout Akron, Canton and the Cleveland area, and the U.S. Marshals are warning others of the gang’s violent nature.
“Heartless Felons are particularly associated with weapons,” said Andrew Deserto, assistant chief deputy U.S. Marshal for the northern district of Ohio. “We know that if someone is a heartless felon, they’re probably going to have a weapon on them, or they’re going to be carrying a weapon most of the time.”
Deserto said Heartless Felons are being released from prison and continuing their connection within their community. Members are known to kill, rob and steal.
“They’re wreaking fear and havoc within the communities, and that’s how the Heartless Felons work,” Deserto added. “They intimidate and cause fear to get what they want.”
Deserto said agents regularly track Heartless Felons, a sharp contrast from just two years ago when the gang was hardly in existence outside prison walls.
“The Heartless Felons is one of our most destructive groups,” said DJ Norris, coordinator of the security threat group for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
Norris said the Heartless Felons started in a Marion, Ohio correctional facility about 10 years ago. Now, it’s a predominantly Cleveland-based gang.
“They’re known to travel in large numbers,” he added.
Both Deserto and Norris said a person’s tattoos can identify a Heartless Felon. A member may have the name “Heartless Felons” tattooed on his body or “HF” for short. Also, a tattoo of a broken heart or the Cleveland area code “216” is a sign of the gang affiliation.
A member may also use the term, “blat.” Norris said the term has no particularly meaning.
If you know or suspect a Heartless Felon member, the U.S. Marshals ask you to call their tip line at 866-4-WANTED. Callers may remain anonymous.