Cuyahoga County

Men arrested in Lakewood traffic stop connected to Heartless Felons, violent crimes, prosecutors say


CLEVELAND, Ohio — Two of four men arrested during a routine traffic stop have been connected to the Heartless Felons street gang and several violent crimes, prosecutors said.

James Underwood III, 19, and Rayshawn Byrd-Lewis, 20, both of Garfield Heights, each have Heartless Felons tattoos that Cuyahoga County prosecutors say "advertise their membership" into the violent gang.

"Those tattoos are walking billboards for their criminal gang," Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said in a statement. "We very much appreciate them helping us prove the gang specifications we will add to these crimes."

Underwood, Byrd-Lewis and two others — Michael Harper, 20, and Devin Hoofkin, 19— were arrested July 22 during a routine traffic stop on West 117th Street and Edgewater Drive. Police reported finding two loaded guns in Hoofkin's car, which was stopped for having no lights on his back license plate.

Hoofkin was driving without a valid license, prosecutors said. Harper and Hoofkin had prior convictions for attempted robbery that prohibited them from legally carrying a gun, prosecutors said.

All four men have been charged in connection with past crimes, prosecutors said.

Underwood and another man are charged in connection with the April 24 armed robbery of a couple on East 127th Street. Underwood shot a man who ran away from the robbery, police said. His co-defendant in the case, Anthony Lett, 39, raped the woman after the man left, according to court records.

Six days later, the same duo conspired to steal a handgun from a gun show at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, according to prosecutors.

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