El Rukn


Prince Iman Malik (Founder)
Quite possibly the most prominent black gangster of all time. For more five decades, Prince Iman Malik AKA Jeff Fort has run one of the nation's most powerful criminal organizations.

From the mean streets of Chicago's southside, Malik joined the local gang shortly after moving to the windy city from Mississppi with his parents and 8 siblings. It wasn't long before Fort distinguished himself from the other kids. Inspite of his small stature, Fort could be extremely brutal, a trait which left his peers in awe. Soon his reputation engulfed the southside and the Blackstone Ranger gang was born. Along with Mickey Cogwell and Eugen "Bull" Hairston, Fort organized the small neighborhood gangs into a mini-organized crime syndicate with the formation of "The Main 21." This occurance at a time when Black Nationalism was in its prime was met with approval not only by the local politicians but to the surprise of everyone the Republican party as well. Overnight, Malik still known as Jeff Fort, became a nationally known figure. Scholars and self righteous politicians pointed to the accomplishments of the small, uneducated gang leader who for all appearances had turned a negative into a positive. Fort quickly realized the earning potential of this new found celebre and immediately began taking full advantage.

Fort and the Blackstone Rangers received a government grant worth nearly $1 million which was to be used for community purposes. The government later indicted Fort for misuse of the funds which they claimed instead went to funding the gangs criminal activities. With a virtual army of loyal followers, the government soon realized it had made a terrible mistake in financially supporting Fort and the Blackstone Rangers which had changed its name to the Black P. Stone Rangers and spread from the southside of Chicago into Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Mississppi and other parts of the country. By the time Jeff Fort was sentenced to serve a 5 year federal sentence in 1972, he stood charged with 5 other serious crimes including assault with intent to murder. Fort quietly went off to prison and authorities publicly announced the death of the Blackstone menace.

While in prison, Fort underwent something of a transformation and began studying Islam and African culture. From behind the walls of the Federal Prison at Leavenworth came word that indeed the Black P. Stone Nation was dead and the Moorish Temple El Rukn Tribe was born. The small youth once known as the Black Prince on the Southside of Chicago was reborn Prince Iman Malik. Without question, the Black P. Stone Nation at once became the El Rukn's and Jeff Fort remained their Princely King.

To demonstrate his seriousness and intolerance for insubordination, Malik ordered the murder of Mickey Cogwell one of his most trusted aides. Cogwell apparently was slow in accepting Prince Malik's vision and voiced his objections once to often. Inspite of the once close friendship "Cogwell had been selected by Fort to represent him at President Richard Nixon's 1968 innauguration," Cogwell was dispatched promptly. During his incarceration, Fort maintained close ties to the Rev. Jessie Jackson who's younger half-brother Noah Robinson was a key cog in the El Rukn scheme. The Rukns benefitted from the fundraising acumen of Sammy Davis Jr., in addition to a booming drug business.

The only obsticle to Fort's complete dominance of Chicago's inner-city was the prescence of Larry Hoover and the Black Gangster Diciple Gang. Hoover was sent to prison during the same period of time Fort was convicted. Hoover had witnessed the rise of the rival Blackstone gang and longed for a mob just like Forts. Hoover was nearly Fort's equal in gangdom and the two groups were often at odds. The dispute became so intense that it literally split Chicago and the midwest's Black gangs into two factions. Fort became the revered leader of the People Nation, a coalition of gangs "Black, white and Hispanic," which is opposed by Hoover and the Folk Nation.

By the time Fort walked out of prison in 1976, his gang numbered 30,000 members. He relocated his wife and young family to Milwaukee where he purchased a modest home and was chauferred around in a new Cadillac. Rarely seen in Chicago for the first year of his release, Malik began making forrays into his old stomping grounds displaying the fruits of his illegal empire. Found of flashy clothes, Malik owned a number of full length mink coats and traded in his Caddy for a chauferred limo. One run in with Chicago police demonstrated to the public just how far Jeff Fort had come since dropping out of grammar school in Mississppi. Prince Iman Malik's limo was spotted speeding out of an alley near 39th and Cottage Grove Avenue just after 12:30 A:M on December 12, 1980. After a wild but brief car chase, the car pulled to the side of the road and Malik emerged in one of his signature full length minks. The chauffer, 22 year old Henry Harris was outfitted in a similar number made of fox. In the car officers found a neatly rolled stack of bills totalling $5,630, another $326.66 in coins were also in the car. Before the officers could complete the search of Malik and his aide, two cars pulled up and parked one in front of the patrol car the other behind and 4 fur clad El Rukn members emerged with their hands tucked in their pockets. Within minutes, backup arrived for the officers but were outnumbered by the throng of El Rukn's who had repsonded to the scene before the blink of an eye. After several tense moments, the crowd was dispursed and the gang leader and four of his followers were carted off to jail. The officers and their prisoners were greated at the station by 38 El Rukn members who sought to assure their prince's safety.

This incident alarmed the public and made the elimination of Malik and his organization a priority. Within a year's time Malik and the El Rukn gang was attacked by the Federal government who weighed in with an indictment for drug conspiracy. The sentence came down in 1983 for a total of 13 years. That was quickly followed up with charges of conspiring with Libiya to commit terrorist acts within the United States. The sentence drawn 175 years. Another 75 years for the murder of rival gang leader Willie Bibbs was added in 1988. Today Prince Iman Malik is housed in the most secure prison on the planet the Federal Correctional Facility at Florence Colorado. His cell is a one man cell and he is under no human contact order. Once again his organization has been declared deceased but as his siblings and children emerge from prison, remnants of the old Black Stone Rangers have reappeared on the Southside of Chicago.


Melvyn Mayes
One of 5 defendants convicted of murdering El Rukn gang member Leroy "Hambone" Barber on January 2, 1986 as a favor to Noah Robinson. Mays was also named in an indictment charging the El Rukn's with conspiring to commit terrorist acts on behalf of Libya. Mays attempted to purchase an anti-tank weapon from a man who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. Mays evaded arrest for nine years before he was captured on March 9, 1995. He is currently serving life in Federal Prison.


Noah Robinson
The announcement of a federal racketeering indictment charging 64 members of the El Rukn gang with racketeering, bankruptcy fraud, mail and wire fraud in addition to murder was met with little fanfare nationally. One name which should have brought news camera's rolling to the federal court house in Chicago was Noah Robinson.

Robinson was one of the key figures named in the indictment. His activities as a money launderer for the El Rukn's was key in the gang's successful purchase of millions of dollars worth of real-estate, businesses and the hiding of drug cash from a multi-million dollar venture which operated from Chicago to Michigan down into Mississppi. Robinson had been mentioned by Fortune magazine as one of the most successful black businessmen in the country and he just so happened to be the half-brother of Jessie Jackson. Robinson owned 65 Wendy's Hamburger chains in addition to a number of chicken stops. Robinson held title to a number of Southside properties which turned millions of dollars worth of revenue but he still engaged in illicit transactions with Prince Iman Malik and the El Rukn's.

While he has never been identified as a gang member, the government has produced evidence that he is more than a casual associate of the group. Robinson himself had a vicious streak which saw him send a threatening letter to an incarcerated gang member who was a childhood friend of his. The friend saw Noah as a threat and reported the threats to the prison officials. The man latter was murdered on Robinson's orders after a fist fight in North Carolina. Robinson was sentenced to life in prison along with 4 other El Rukn generals for the murder in October of 1997.

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