23 admit guilt in gangs’ organized crime
Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds announces that 23 gang members and associates have pleaded guilty to committing various crimes and acts of violence across Cobb County, including some in schools.
With the wide-ranging indictment comprising 12 incidents that occurred over 18 months, prosecutors significantly hindered operations of three local criminal street gangs, known as Get Money Squad (GMS), Wildlyfe, and 2200. Both Wildlyfe and 2200 grew out of the Get Money Squad. All three criminal street gangs maintained alliances, including joint participation in criminal street gang acts.
Cobb Police’s Anti-Gang Enforcement Unit began investigating Get Money Squad around 2008. Through interviews, reviewing school incidents, and communication with such agencies as Smyrna Police, Marietta Police and Cobb School Police, investigators uncovered the connectivity among the three criminal gangs and the common purpose of associating to obtain money and property through crime.
“Through this investigation and prosecution, the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office along with our law enforcement partners were able to remove three violent criminal street gangs from our community. Members and associates of these gangs admitted that they sold drugs, broke into dozens of cars to commit thefts and committed acts of violence against people outside the gangs, all to increase their status within the criminal organization and further the gangs’ violent reputations,” said Senior ADA Jaret Usher, who prosecuted the case with Chief ADA John Melvin.
Melvin added: “These gangs flourished through recruitment, intimidation and perpetration of heinous crimes, and it is critical that prosecutors and law enforcement agencies continue to take aggressive actions against these criminals.”
District Attorney Reynolds has made fighting gang crime a priority.
“This investigation, prosecution and indictment demonstrates the power of collectively indicting the gang as opposed to the individual. Through such techniques, law enforcement in our community are working together to combat this constant threat to the safety of our citizens,” Reynolds said.
The indictment included these 12 incidents.
- 1/25/15: Two defendants committed a drive-by shooting at three men on Westland Way in Marietta, damaging cars and other property.
- 2/18/15: One defendant resisted arrest at Osborne High School, striking two officers. His bookbag contained marijuana packaged for distribution. As he ran from officers on campus, fellow gang members picked him up in a vehicle.
- 9/15/15: One defendant was caught on video stealing property and cash from a student at Osborne.
- 9/29/15: Three defendants broke in to 59 vehicles in the Graywood subdivision.
- 1/11/16: At least one defendant broke into a vehicle on Manning Road in Marietta.
- 3/9/16: Officers responding to a call of shots fired in the area of Cobb and Newmarket Parkways found marijuana and pills on one defendant.
- 3/27/16: At a Chevron on Mars Hill Road, Cobb Police officers found three defendants in a vehicle with 24 grams of marijuana.
- 3/31/16: Acting on an anonymous tip, police responded to a residence in the 1100 block of Mill Pond Drive in Smyrna, and were allowed entry. Through interviews with numerous people inside, police learned that several gang members stayed at the house and sold drugs to pay rent to the homeowner. Four firearms – two of them stolen – were located in the house. In the kitchen, police found a tub containing more than 100 pills.
- 5/11/16: Near Water Oaks Drive, Austell, one defendant beat up a young man and hit him with a gun.
- 5/12/16: Cobb Police’s VIPER Unit officers witnessed a hand-to-hand drug sale on Windy Hill Road at Circle 75, and approached. One defendant had a firearm in plain view in a vehicle.
- 5/13/16: Officers responded to a fight at Hurt Road Park during which shots were fired.
- 6/10/16: Officers conducting a traffic stop of two defendants found a stolen firearm.
The defendants are now between 20 and 27 years old and list residences in Cobb cities as well as Lawrenceville, Douglasville, Woodstock, Atlanta, and Dothan, Ala.
The last of the defendants were sentenced in October.
Each defendant pled guilty to racketeering, and most also pled guilty to other assorted crimes, including violation of the street gang terrorism and prevention act, aggravated assault, entering an automobile, violation of Georgia controlled substances act, firearms possession, theft, criminal damage to property, criminal trespass, obstruction, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, disrupting a public school, affray, and criminal use of an article with an altered identification mark.
Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green handed down sentences ranging from 10 years to 20 years. Many of the defendants were granted First Offender status, which means if they complete the in-custody and probation part of their sentences without further trouble, their record in this case will be sealed.
This case is Cobb Indictment 16903394.