JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Five members of the "Guardians" gang have been sentenced to federal prison terms.
Maynard Godwin, 33, of Jacksonville, Andrew Wilkie 31, of Callahan, and Eric Ellis, 28, Atlantic Beach were convicted of conspiracy and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
According to court documents, inspired by the television show Sons of Anarchy, Godwin formed his own gang and called the "Guardians".
The gang committed a series of violent felonies and crimes, including an extortion that left one man nearly dead; the choking of a young woman until she passed out; armed bank robberies; armed home invasions; daily cocaine and opiate sales; and theft of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from local stores.
Godwin was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison. Wilkie was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison, and Ellis was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.
The group netted about $2 million, according to the United States Attorney's Office. Law enforcement has been working on the case since 2010.
First Coast News