Williams pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base and heroin last December, largely out of the drug "safe house" they'd set up at 6 Metcalf Ct. in Jamaica Plain's South Street development. Williams was one of 48 gang members swept up by the feds in raids in 2015.
According to the US Attorney's office:
Williams was involved in the importation and distribution of at least 880 grams of cocaine base, 10 kilograms of cocaine, and 700 grams of heroin in Massachusetts, along with other members and associates of the Columbia Point Dawgs (CPD), including his brothers Yancey Williams and Herbert Small, and father Yancey Calhoun.
Yancey Williams previously pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 19th; Herbert Small pleaded guilty and was sentenced in August 2017 to 37 months in prison; and Yancey Calhoun also pleaded guilty and was sentenced in December 2016 to 60 months in prison.
Several of Williams's cousins also face charges.
According to an affidavit by an FBI agent who spent two years investigating the gang, along with Boston and State Police detectives, Demtrius Williams forced investigators to call members of a rival gang, the Greenwood Street Posse, to warn they were likely being targeted for murder by the Dawgs, as part of an escalating feud. Williams had ordered hits after somebody shot him while he sat in his Mercedes outside the Jamaica Plain safe house.
The Columbia Point Dawgs, which started in the 1980s in the old Dorchester housing complex, metastasized across Boston and even across the East Coast after the project was rebuilt as a mixed-income development, the feds say. In 1995, rival gang members opened fire on CPD member Steven Sealey, killing him as he sat in singer Bobby Brown's Bentley. Members often wore Phillies caps - because the P reminded them of "the Point."
In a plea for leniency, WIlliams's attorney said Williams acknowledged what he did is wrong, that he is "genuinely sorry" - and that Williams is an unfortunate product of the environment in which he was raised:
The fact is though, Demetrius’s misconduct can only be considered, and understood, in the context of, and as a product of, the complex trauma inherent in growing up in an environment that even the Government, in breathtaking detail, paints as a war zone.
The memorandum continues:
The Court knows something about the family Demetrius was born into: multiple cousins, two brothers, and his father are named in the same indictment. The Court also knows something now about the environment Demetrius grew up in. What the Court may still not understand is what it looks like, what it feels like, what life is like, when you’re the second of three children born within the space of about three years, to a teenage mother and a father who beat your mom, and was then out of the house and out of your life by the time you were about three years old.
It looks like this:
Your mom obtaining a section 8 voucher for housing outside of Columbia Point after your baby brother was born, and trying to move out to the assigned apartment in Chelsea; then being too scared to live there full-time with three little boys and therefore returning with her boys to Columbia Point at night to sleep in the family apartment she grew up in because it felt safer there then out alone without protection.
Your moves constant – every year when the lease is up. Different apartment, different neighborhood, different school to assimilate into. Chelsea. Fields Corner. Blue Hill Ave. Jamaica Plain. Talbot Ave. Codman Square. Rockwell Street. Brockton. Foxboro. Norwood. Relying on and staying close to your brothers always, as they are the only constants in your life.
Your family growing – two more little brothers added to the mix before childhood is up after your mom began a relationship with the man who will become your step-father. A step-father who, despite being in and out of the household due to frequent incarcerations, becomes your primary protection from the dangers of the street as a young boy, and primary teacher how to survive in those same streets as you grow into a young man.
Your struggles in school also growing as learning disabilities that appear to have been diagnosed around the age of 8 or 9, and resulted in special education services being ordered, are exacerbated by the lack of stability and continuity.
Your mom moving you and your four brothers suddenly down to Georgia, right in the middle of your 11th grade year (January, 2002), desperate to escape the dangers and dangerousness always at your doorstep. Your mom lasting all of two years before returning with you and your brothers to Columbia Point in January, 2004, because living in Georgia with no extended family assistance proved to be too difficult for her.
Your life changing forever when your older brother, Jamal, whom you adore, idolize really, unexpectedly dies the next year (2005) from an illness; the circumstances of which makes the listener wonder whether it was due to the illness itself, or lack of access to appropriate and timely health care. The pain of this loss is intense. Visits to Jamal’s grave daily – hastening your descent into drugs and alcohol in attempts to self-medicate; shaping your resolve to provide for and protect your younger siblings and extended family members regardless of what’s involved; hardening yourself to deal with those outside forces that pose any danger to your loved ones.
What does this sort of life feel like? Hard to convey. Demetrius was unable to articulate to counsel what it feels like to grow up in a war zone, be exposed to domestic violence, lose your father and stepfather to long-term incarceration, lack any stability or continuity in housing and schooling, generally have to fend for yourself while your mother worked to support you and your four brothers as a single parent, and suffer traumatic loss of a loved one at an early age. While the effects of these traumatic and life-changing events were readily apparent, and described unsolicited, by those who knew him well,18 Demetrius was only able to come up with one word to describe his childhood during the presentence interview – “difficult.” ...
It is also clear to counsel that Demetrius tried not to feel anything as he grew older – deploying well-known coping mechanisms including beginning to use marijuana and alcohol as a young teenager. His periodic use however jumped dramatically after Jamal’s unexpected death – increasing immediately to a bottle of Hennessey and four to six marijuana blunts per day by his recollection, and the addition of Percocet use several times per week. Demetrius’s use of these coping mechanisms appears to have essentially continued unabated until his arrest.
Given this background, what can be said of Demetrius’s character and conduct historically speaking? The letters that poured in on Demetrius’s behalf from family, friends, and his community, provide valuable perspective. From his cousin, Charlotte Funches:
Demetrius is my first cousin, but more like my brother. Himself, along with his siblings were (at the time) the only brothers I had before my own, so we grew up pretty close. For as long as I can remember Demetrius has always been a good spirited person. Readily available, hand and heart extended ready to help. He has taught me so much as far as how to be a good friend, person of my word, and an all around decent human being. He’s instilled in me a sense of responsibility not only through the wisdom of his words, but the integrity of his actions.
There's no way to be a perfect person, but there's a million ways to be a good one. My love and respect for him goes so far beyond the friend/cousin he is to me, but the great friend he's shown himself to be to others as well. Since the passing of his older brother (in 2005), Demetrius' role became the new "go to person" (as his older brother once was). I relied on that. The voice of reason, mediator, and rationalist. Being a person to give sound advice, encouragement, and lending an ear whenever needed has proven to me that he's a person who genuinely just cares about people.
Demetrius and I often sat, and I'd tell him about my dreams of becoming a celebrity stylist. At the time he was starting a small clothing business of his own where he'd allow me creative control with his brand by styling, and altering a few to be sold. He saw something different in me than what others may have called being too "dreamy minded," and took a chance on me by giving me a shot. I was so grateful because he saw that I was missing that space to pour my energy into and gladly provided it for me. It was the pick me up that I needed to stay busy until my time had come to move to LA where I'm proud to say that I am the celebrity stylist he encouraged me to be.
Demetrius continues to go above and beyond for everyone he knows. This is the person my family and I look forward to seeing at our family gatherings for his hilarious jokes, good story telling, and I can't neglect to mention his great dance moves lol. No matter the occasion if there's a dance floor, he's on it. Always by my side, right to my left. As if dancing isn't good enough, add chef to the repertoire. Annually, the males put together a dinner in acknowledgment of Mother's Day. Demetrius contributes by making miracle meals without a stove. He has convinced me that fully prepared (by microwave) meals are just as satisfying as stovetop lol. Talk about learning something new every day.
For being the personality that he is, he will continue to be blessed and highly favored. Even in his current situation (as unfortunate as it is), he still inspires with his optimism. Demetrius continues to encourage me to model his example and live in good spirits. He knows that there's no testimony without a test and this is just his. I believe that a good person depends on who's judging, so I wish it were possible for you to see through the eyes of anyone whose ever conversed with him or know and love him. The father, son, brother, cousin, nephew, friend...He's truly a God send.