NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Attorneys are concerned about the safety of several witnesses in a string of local murders and other crimes. Four men, Antonio Simmons, Anthony Foye, Nathaniel Mitchell and Alvaughn Davis were all charged in September with five murders and five attempted murders that all occurred in Hampton roads in December 2015.

The four men were allegedly members of the Nine Trey Gangsters (NTG), according to investigators. NTG is a gang affiliated with the United Blood Nation.

According to court documents, attorneys filed a protective order to hide the addresses and personal information in evidence from the defendants. Investigators believe that one of the murder victims, Linda Lassiter, was a witnesses to an earlier shooting committed by Anthony Foye. Court documents go on to say that Mitchell wrote a letter from jail suggesting a fellow NTG member should attend a court hearing and either intimidate or kill the sole witness of a robbery Mitchell is accused of.

The string of murders and shooting all stemmed, partially, from a conflict between two local sets of the NTG, one of the sets was led by Simmons, and also included Foye, Mitchell, and Davis.

Attorneys asked for a protective order because they believe allowing the defendants to have access to this information in evidence would greatly endanger the witnesses and people living nearby.

“Due to the extremely violent nature of the charged crimes, the nature of the criminal organization of which the defendants were allegedly members, the government’s allegation that at least one of the murder victims was a witness to an earlier crime committed by one of the defendants, and the government’s allegation that a different defendant attempted to have a witnesses intimidated or killed, the government submits that the safety and security of witnesses, including individuals who may be perceived as potential witnesses, and the family members of witnesses to the charged crimes is of paramount concern,” read court documents.

The indictment alleges that Foye and Mitchell were responsible for all ten shootings that occurred. It also alleges that Simmons participated in the planning of at least three of the shootings, and that Davis assisted Foye and Mitchell in a number of the shootings by acting as driver and helping dispose of at least one body.

When Foye and Mitchell were arrested, after an armed robbery of a Portsmouth Shell gas station, the shootings stopped. Evidence found during that robbery connected they men to the other crimes.
All four men pled not guilty in court recently. A trial is expected later this year.