Feds highlight Detroit gang leader's hand signals with Kilpatricks

Jeron Gaskin, convicted leader of Hustle Boys gang, caught making hand signals with Kwame Kilpatrick, Bernard Kilpatrick in court

DETROIT – Jeron Gaskin is a dangerous man convicted of drug dealing and witness tampering. The feds were not too happy after they found out he was sending mysterious hand signals to fellow convict Kwame Kilpatrick.

Gaskin ran one of Detroit's toughest street gangs the Hustle Boys. When he was arrested for drug dealing he threatened to kill the main witness and his kid if he testified. The feds don't want someone who threatens to kill witnesses talking to anyone, let alone the former Detroit mayor who, at the time, was on trial for racketeering.

The incident involved hand signals, something gang members commonly do to communicate in a way police cannot follow. The incident took place in the hallway at federal court. According to a federal Marshals report, Gaskin was secured and led toward the prisoner elevator. Kilpatrick said something to Gaskin and gave some hand sign which the Marshal did not recognize. Gaskin also mumbled something back to Kilpatrick and made some awkward gesture with his head.

Moments later, Kwame Kilpatrick's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, made a hand gesture and said something to the extent of "stay strong brother."

Gaskin responded to Bernard Kilpatrick with "it ain't nothin'." As a result of the prisoner's actions, Gaskin was secured by his upper arm and under the armpit. He began to speak loudly, "Just wait till I get the handcuffs off of him."


Gaskin began making a noise with his mouth and sinuses as when someone prepares to spit. Gaskin threatened, "I'll spit in your face! I will spit in your face!"

It may seem like a minor incident but federal prosecutors thought it was important enough to include in Gaskin's sentencing memorandum to the judge in which they recommended he get 30 years behind bars.

It's not known what, if anything, the mysterious hand gestures from Kwame and Bernard Kilpatrick to the leader of the Hustle Boys means. However, authorities take it very seriously considering Gaskin admits to threatening the lives of witnesses and their families.

The incident has not shown up in the public filings of Kwame and Bernard Kilpatrick.

More could be learned about this incident if prosecutors bring it up at the Kilpatricks' sentencing, which has not been scheduled but is expected to happen in the next 90 days.