Heartless Felons leader Donte D. Ferguson arraigned on gang activity charges; bond set at $250,000

CLEVELAND - Bond for the man believed to be a leader of the Heartless Felons, a notorious gang that started in prison and spilled onto Cleveland's streets, has been set at a quarter million dollars.

Donte D. Ferguson, 28, was arraigned Monday morning on charges of criminal gang activity, intimidation, retaliation and resisting arrest.

He pleaded not guilty.

Ferguson was in jail already after being arrested on allegations he was in possession of firearms in violation of his probation.

June 12, 43 juveniles believed to be part of the Heartless Felons were charged with over 400 counts including conspiracy, robbery, extortion, simple assault, theft, kidnapping, disrupting public services, menacing, aggravated riot, aggravated menacing, intimidation, vandalism, assault on a detention officer, attempted extortion and inciting violence. 

Prosecutors allege that Ferguson is one of the founding members of the gang and that he threatened a Cleveland Police detective assigned to the gang unit after encountering him in a public place.

Five other people believed to be members of the gang were indicted in May.

DJ Norris, coordinator of the security threat group for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said the Heartless Felons started in a Marion, Ohio correctional facility about 10 years ago. 

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