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Justice News

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell Delivers Remarks at Gangster Disciples Indictment Press Conference
Atlanta, GA
United States
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Remarks as prepared for delivery

First, we wouldn’t be making today’s announcement without the diligence and dedication of agents and police officers, as well as the federal prosecutors represented here on this stage with me. 

This case reflects a true team effort to bring top gang members to justice for at least seven years of sustained criminal activity.

It is the very core of law enforcement’s mission to ensure that everyone feels safe in their homes and neighborhoods.  It is a hard reality that many people across our country simply do not enjoy this basic sense of security because of gangs like the Gangster Disciples. 

As the indictments allege, the Gangster Disciples victimized communities throughout the Southeast for many years.  In the Northern District of Georgia indictment, alone, 10 murders and 12 attempted murders are alleged.  And the indictment also alleges that the Gangster Disciples would take any opportunity to make money through crime – everything from trafficking of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines, to robbery, carjacking, and extortion, to bank fraud, insurance fraud, credit card fraud, and money laundering. 

As a former gang prosecutor myself, I know that gang cases like these are difficult to prosecute.  It can take many months or years for investigators to develop sufficient evidence, often including infiltrating the gang or encouraging very reluctant witnesses. 

That is why it is so significant that today’s indictments – both here and elsewhere – charge top leaders within the Gangster Disciples.  The indictment here charges the leadership of the gang, including the “governors” of the gang in Alabama and Georgia. 

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 organizations like the Gangster Disciples. These are the people who keep gangs like the Gangster Disciples alive, year in and year out, generation after generation.

Cases like these make a difference, and I want to thank all the law enforcement and U.S. Attorney Office and Organized Crime and Gang Section prosecutors who worked so hard to build this case.

It’s fitting that this case comes as our country prepares to celebrate “National Police Week,” where since 1962 we have set aside the week of May 15 to honor the difficult and dangerous work performed by law enforcement throughout our country. You in law enforcement put your lives on the line every day. On behalf of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, I am here to tell you that we very much appreciate all that you do day in and day out.

Thank you.

Updated September 29, 2016