A man whose drug-related prison sentence was commuted in November by President Barack Obama has been executed gang style at a federal halfway house in Michigan.
According to a story on mlive.com, Damarlon C. Thomas, a former member of eradicated Saginaw’s Sunny Side Gang, was slain by one of two masked gunmen around 9:40 p.m. Monday, according to Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser.
Police say the shooters went into the halfway house with specific plans to kill the victim. Thomas, 31, was shot in the head and numerous other times by one of the gunmen as his partner corralled at gunpoint some of the other 23 people in the house, Kaiser said.
“One person watched over a group of them while another subject located the victim and executed him,” Kaiser said. “They were looking for this person.”
No one else was injured, and it’s unknown at this time what security measures the halfway house had in place, Kaiser said. No suspects are in custody.
Thomas was among 79 prisoners across the country who had their sentences commuted by Obama in November 2016.
According to a story by CBS Detroit, Thomas was sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2008 on a cocaine charge, but with the commutation the sentence was to expire in March. He was arrested as part of “Operation Sunset,” a federal investigation that effectively dismantled the “Sunny Side Gang” in Saginaw.
Thomas’ commutation was part of Obama’s second-term effort to try to remedy the consequences of decades of onerous sentencing requirements that Obama felt imprisoned thousands of drug offenders for too long, according to the CBS story.
The Michigan State Police Major Crimes Unit is heading up the investigation, and officials are asking the public for assistance in finding the assailants.
Anyone with information about the slaying is asked to call Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Jim Bush directly at (231) 250-9471, or Crime Stoppers at 800-422-JAIL.
Kaiser said those who call do not have to give their name.