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Co-founder of violent Reading gang gets life in prison, plus 10 years

Reading Eagle - 3/7/2023

Mar. 7—The co-founder and leader of a violent Reading gang that was involved in drugs and sex trafficking will spend the rest of his life in federal prison.

Alexander Malave, 31, of Reading, was given a life sentence plus 10 years by a federal judge, United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced.

Malave was among 14 defendants charged with federal offenses in connection with the violent acts of the Sevens gang, which took over a boarding house on South Fourth Street and used it as a base of operations for drug and sex trafficking.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations and Reading Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sherri A. Stephan and Justin Ashenfelter.

Ten of the defendants pleaded guilty, while Malave and three others were convicted by a jury on June 2. During the trial, one witness described the takeover of the boarding house by saying it was "like Russia invading Ukraine."

Malave was found guilty of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise; conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, including of a minor; violent crime in aid of racketeering, including kidnapping and assault with a dangerous weapon; sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; and discharging a firearm in the course of committing a violent offense.

'Wreaked havoc'

The Sevens gang was made up of members of other gangs, including the Gangster Disciples, and Bloods and Crips. Federal prosecutors described Malave, who held the rank of "top general," as one of the gang's most violent members.

"In the course of committing his violent offenses, he kidnapped, maimed, assaulted, imprisoned and otherwise wreaked havoc and harm to those he encountered," a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued Monday read.

In one instance, the release said, Malave grabbed a man from behind and sliced his neck from ear to ear with a knife. After the attack, the man was stripped naked and imprisoned in a closet for three days without food or water.

On another occasion, Malave shot a man in an attempt to demonstrate the Sevens' power and control over the boarding house.

Romero said Malave's conviction and sentence will make Reading a safer place.

"Today's sentencing ensures the permanent end of Malave's reign of terror over the city of Reading and the demise of the Sevens gang," she said. "We will continue to partner with our local counterparts to bring the resources necessary to investigate, prosecute and dismantle violent gangs."

William S. Walker, special agent in charge at U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, said the arrests of Sevens members shows that law enforcement is dedicated to fighting organized crime.

"The sentencing of the Sevens' leader, Alexander Malave, to a lifetime in federal prison should serve as a warning to criminal organizations that perpetuate violence and terrorize our communities," he said. "Homeland Security Investigations' resolve to disrupt the abhorrent acts and to dismantle the criminal enterprises of gangs in order to restore safety to our community's streets is and always will be absolute."

Berks DA: 'Sends a message'

Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams expressed gratitude to federal law enforcement for helping to end the Sevens' violent reign of terror.

"This gang and its members were responsible for despicable criminal acts in our community," he said. "I would like to thank our federal partners for the collaborative effort with local authorities to dismantle this criminal enterprise and for seeking justice for the victims in this case. Hopefully today's sentencing sends a message that this type of criminal conduct will not be tolerated in our community, and those that violate our laws will receive significant penalties for their actions."

Malave's sentencing comes just over a month after another high-ranking member of the gang received an identical sentence.

Karvarise Person, 33, was sentenced to life plus 10 years for his involvement with the gang. He was a "general" in the Sevens.

Person and Malave were among the defendants convicted by a jury in June. The other two were James Goode and Shaquile Newson.

In February, Goode was sentenced to 37 years in federal prison followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Newson has not yet been sentenced.


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