I-Team: Magazine targets 'snitches'

January 12, 2010 5:12:23 PM PST
Diamond Resort Magazine hit Triangle stores a few weeks back. The cover features one of the region's biggest ex-drug dealers: Donald Shealey - or Face Diddy as he's known on the streets.

Inside, readers will find official looking documents that paraphrase alleged interviews with people who used to be members of Shealey's organization known as the Face Mob Family. They're members who allegedly sold Shealey out.

Baqir Mujahid owns Block Stylz in Durham and carries Diamond Resort Magazine. He says he's already sold about 500 copies at $10 each.

"I've not seen revenue like this in a while," he told AB11 Eyewitness News "I thought it would be a novelty, an interesting piece of news, and it turned out to be greater than anyone thought it would be, bigger than anyone thought it would be."

The magazine boasts over 100 names. In one part, a so-called snitch is quoted as having told police that four Blood gang members from the area of Bentwood were involved in murders, and it lists their names.

If the magazine is meant to intimidate and silence police sources, it may be working. Shealey is in jail for life, but only one person we talked to about what's in the magazine would go on camera with us: Durham rapper Charlie O.

Charlie O says he and his brother Timothy Hargrove used to be good friends with Shealey. That ended when his brother signed a plea agreement helping put Shealey away. Now, Hargrove is one of the so-called snitches listed in the magazine.

"These people that produced this magazine sold their soul for a couple of dollars," said Charlie O.

Charlie O says he knows most of the people in the magazine and says what's in it is completely false.

"You have several names that's being mentioned in here of innocent people," he said.

Whether he's right we can't say. The original documents appear to be sealed. Durham police won't comment and both the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office tell us they can't confirm or deny investigations.

But that begs the question: what investigation? Shealey's case was closed last year and law enforcement's unwillingness to talk about it underscores one of Charlie O's concerns about the magazine.

"All it's doing is just creating problems, because a detective may see this magazine and may actually think this is real and people can be incarcerated behind something that they did not do," he offered.

Charlie O made Shealey the topic of his latest CD 'Destroy and Rebuild' despite Shealey's apparent call in the magazine to "roll on rats and let so-called snitches know there are consequences."

"Basically he's saying let's keep attacking them anyway possible," said Charlie O. "Whoever is out there that feels that they can't sleep at night because they're afraid of him, I should be the one to tell them that he doesn't have any power at all."

And one way to show that, he says, is to not buy Diamond Resort's magazine.

As for law enforcement, ABC11 has continued to reach out to multiple agencies to clarify what investigation they can or can't confirm. We do know the bust of the Face Mob Family was a big deal back in 2008.

At the time, U.S. Attorney George Holding called them one of the most violent drug-trafficking organizations in the state. So, the fallout from that investigation could be ongoing.

As for the magazine, we asked if publishing the material it contains is illegal. Durham's district attorney told us the bar to make it illegal would be very high. Investigators would have to show an imminent threat of bodily injury or death. So, as far as we can tell, it's not illegal.

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