Four dozen members of the Gangster Disciples syndicate have been charged with running an enterprise which is responsible for at least 10 murders. A leader and a top cop in Georgia are among those who were charged.
An indictment filed in Atlanta named 32 people and another indictment in Memphis, Tennessee charged 16 others. A total 48 gang members were accused of their involvement in coordinated criminal activities which include, murder, drug trafficking, extortion, carjacking, robbery and fraud. It has been reported that the gang members got large profits from these crimes.
Justice department officials said that the indictments were important as half of the arrested people were gang leaders.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said, “There are a lot of people out there willing to join gangs, and eager to get easy money from criminal activity, But there are far fewer people with the wherewithal to lead organisations like the Gangster Disciples. These are the people who keep gangs like the Gangster Disciples alive, year in and year out, generation after generation.”
Vancito Gumbs, a police officer in DeKalb county in Atlanta, used to inform the gang members about police activities. He also informed someone that he killed people for the gang as a hitman. However, police have not found any evidence against Gumbs and consequently, he is not charged with murder.
DeKalb County police Chief James Conroy said that Gumbs had already resigned in October after reports of drug abuse. Conroy also added that he does not believe any other police officers were involved. He called Gumbs a “bad apple”, reported NBC News.
Prosecutors announced that the gang’s top member, who is known as “chairman”, is arrested, but is still in touch with his leadership team. The description of the chairman matches that of Larry Hoover, who was accused of running Gangster Disciples in 1997. Currently, Hoover is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Colorado, as stated by Los Angeles Times.
In the indictment, statements pointed that the Gangster Disciples started in Chicago in the 1970s. It was a merger of two gangs, Black Disciples and Supreme Gangsters. Gangster Disciples is a highly structured and hierarchical gang and it has been divided into geographic groups.