Feds say they’ve smashed the Gangster Disciples crime ring


Updated: 5:57 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, 2016  |  Posted: 3:17 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A former DeKalb County police officer is among the 22 Georgians named in a massive federal indictment unsealed Wednesday against the Gangster Disciples, a violent street gang operating in 24 states.

The indictment filed in Atlanta identifies 32 alleged gang members, and a second indictment in Memphis, Tenn., charges 16 more. All are accused of participating in organized criminal activity, and the crimes alleged include murder, drug trafficking, robbery, carjacking, extortion, wire fraud, credit card fraud, and bank fraud.

The indictment states that former DeKalb County police officer Vancito Gumbsadmitted he killed people as a “hitman” for the gang while he was a cop. Gumbs, 25, had been on the force less than two years when the department received a tip that he was involved with illegal drugs, DeKalb Chief James Conroy said. Gumbs lied during that investigation and was being terminated when he resigned in October, Conroy said.

“There are bad apples in every organization, and this was a bad apple,” Conroy said.

Gumbs allegedly traveled with another gang member last fall to “take care of GD business” and called another gang member in October to warn him to stay away from a sports bar that police were raiding, according to the indictment.

“Atlanta has historically been resistant to the incursion of these national gangs, but unfortunately today’s indictment shows how this landscape has changed in just the last few years, as the Gangster Disciples are only one of several gangs that now boast a strong foothold,” U.S. Attorney John Horn said. “These charges show how a national gang like Gangster Disciples can wreak havoc here and in communities across the country, with crimes that run the gamut from murder to drug trafficking to credit card fraud.”

In Georgia, gang members have been linked to 10 murders and 12 attempted murders, Horn said Wednesday.

The majority of those from Georgia named in the indictment are from the metro Atlanta area, but some are from central and South Georgia, including one from Valdosta. All but two were in custody Wednesday afternoon, Horn said. The FBI conducted raids Wednesday in DeKalb, Cobb and Paulding counties.

The Gangster Disciples is a violent gang that began in Chicago in the 1970s when the Black Disciples and the Supreme Gangsters merged, the Atlanta indictment says. It is a highly structured and hierarchical organization divided into geographic groups.

Members bring money to the gang through crimes such as drug trafficking, robbery, prostitution and credit card fraud, according to investigators. In order to protect its power, members used threats, intimidation and violence, including murder, attempted murder and assault.

One of the gang’s targets was a rap musician identified only as “R.R.” in the federal indictment. Several members of The Gangster Disciples allegedly threatened the rapper with physical harm unless he paid them to use the gang’s name and symbols, the indictment states.

DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said the indictment confirms what is already known, that metro Atlanta has a significant gang issue.

“I’ve lived in a neighborhood where I did not feel safe,” James said.

James said he is encouraged by the indictment and local agencies working together to fight crime.

“We’re more organized, we’re more sophisticated, and yes, we’re determined,” James said.

The investigation into the Gangster Disciples is ongoing and could lead to additional indictments, Horn said Wednesday.









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