District of South Carolina Investigation and Prosecution Receives 2012 National Case of the Year for Southeast Region
August 12, 2013
Contact Person: Stacey Haynes (803) 929-3000Columbia, South Carolina ----- Assistant United States Attorneys Stacey Haynes, Mark Moore, and Bob Jendron, along with agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Columbia Violent Gang Task Force, received national recognition and were honored on August 8, 2013, for their outstanding efforts in the prosecution of numerous members of criminal street gangs in the Columbia area. The Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Division of the Department of Justice selected an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Columbia Violent Gang Task Force to receive the 2012 National Case of the Year from the Southeast Region. This was the first investigation from the District of South Carolina to receive the national award. These three veteran prosecutors assisted in the investigation and prosecution of the case.
The investigation, known as “Operation Dark Knight”, began in an effort to combat violence and drug trafficking by members of the Folk Nation and other criminal gangs in the midlands area. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Columbia Violent Gang Task Force is comprised of agents and officers from the FBI, State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), South Carolina National Guard, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and Columbia Police Department. They also received assistance in this investigation from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security. Their combined efforts led to the identification of violent street gangs and criminal organizations responsible for the transportation and distribution of large quantities of drugs supplied by both the Gulf and the Sinaloa Cartels operating out of Mexico. The prosecution resulted in the convictions of over 120 defendants, including the conviction of the local leader of the Folk Nation and the seizure and forfeiture of criminally derived cash and property.
This multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional investigation clearly demonstrates that the most effective way to combat criminal enterprises is by leveraging the strengths, resources, and expertise of the local, state and federal agencies who serve our community.
United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated “I’m proud of the recognition received by these outstanding prosecutors, whose efforts as a part of a successful federal, state and local task force has made a notable impact on the communities we serve.”