Las Vegas Sun

September 20, 2014

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Film appearance may be bad exposure for suspect

A Las Vegas man who is facing a 24-count murder and conspiracy indictment may have provided federal prosecutors with additional evidence to use against him by appearing in an underground documentary about gangs in various cities.

In the Las Vegas segment of "Hood 2 Hood," "K Boose" holds a Glock 17 9 mm semiautomatic handgun and warns: "They come around here, this is what they gonna get."

Although he is wearing a bandana over the lower half of his face, authorities say they recognized the man on the DVD. On the valley's streets -- and in police records -- "K Boose" is known to be the nickname of Jonathan Leon Toliver.

In December a federal grand jury indicted Toliver on 24 counts that include charges of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Toliver, 20, an alleged member of the Gerson Park Kingsmen, is scheduled to appear in federal court on Monday.

The Gerson Park Kingsmen, or GPKs, were mainly involved in the trafficking of crack, Metro Lt. Lew Roberts said. That trade has been taken over mainly by Hispanic gangs, he said.

The epicenter of GPK's territory used to be Martin Luther King at Lake Mead Boulevard, but the gang was dispersed after the Gerson Park housing development was leveled in the late 1990s.

"They're still a gang, albeit a fragmented group of individuals," Roberts said.

Toliver was arrested by North Las Vegas Police in January near Rancho Drive and Lake Mead Boulevard after gunfire was reported at Texas Station. Police pursued a late-model Mercedes that sped away from a casino parking lot and pulled it over. Toliver and several other men were in the car with guns, police said.

When police ran a check on everyone in the car, they found Toliver was wanted on federal murder charges in connection with the Sept. 13 shooting of 20-year-old Gilbert Henry.

"Hood 2 Hood," released in 2005, provides viewers with "a journey into the crimiest hoods in America," according to its packaging. It purports to show gang activity in 27 cities across the nation, from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Sacramento.

Part of the marketing pitch is that the DVD features "the hoods" of Eminem, Jay Z, Nelly, Suge Knight and other rap stars.

Many of the reputed gang members in the DVD flash wads of cash and show off bullet wounds. One unidentified man in New Orleans displays an AK-47-style assault rifle and says, "This is my favorite toy."

The Las Vegas segment starts at an abandoned house with six men and a teen describing illegal activities such as dealing drugs or shooting rivals.

One, dressed in a black sweatshirt, fires a revolver twice in the house and says, "I'm only 17."

Another, in a white T-shirt and black skull cap, said he is so numb to street violence in Las Vegas that shootings and killings "doesn't even fascinate" him anymore.

But unlike most of the men and teens featured in the video, the man authorities say is Toliver covers half his face with a bandana when he is being interviewed.

At one point, however, he looks into the camera and says, "This is 'K Boose' from Las Vegas. ... I been in this (expletive) for real."

In the scene, "K Boose" is shown sitting in a vehicle showing off the Glock 17.

"I don't really want to say too much on tape," he says, then points the handgun to the camera and adds: "This is all you need to know."

As the young men fan out handfuls of money and dance in the middle of the street, they identify an unmarked police car at the end of the block.

A young woman who lives on the same street talks about how she and other neighbors keep bars and boards on their windows. She compares living in the neighborhood to living in a jail.

The street and part of the valley shown on the DVD are never specifically identified, but one of the men shows off the custom stitching on his car's headrests: "Westside."

The DVD is just one of a growing number of underground documentaries, such as "American Pimp" or "Gang Tapes," that show interviews with people allegedly involved in criminal activity.

Alex Alonso, owner of Streetgangs.com, a distribution house for "urban" DVDs, said "Hood 2 Hood" has been the most popular DVD for three months.

" 'Hood 2 Hood' represents the realness," of street gangs, he said.

Toliver's lawyer, Diane Dragan, declined to comment on the DVD or Toliver's case.

Because of Justice Department policy, the U.S. attorney's office also declined to comment, said Natalie Collins, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Las Vegas.

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