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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 15, 2021

High-Ranking Member of Black Mob Gangstas Sentenced to 25 Years for Trafficking Crystal Methamphetamine

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Wake Forest man was sentenced today to 276 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and distribution of 5 grams or more of methamphetamine. He was also sentenced to 24 consecutive months in prison, for violating the terms of his federal supervised release for a prior federal conviction.

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, Derek Louis Griffis, 33, was named in an Indictment filed on December 16, 2020.  On July 7, 2021, Griffis entered a plea of guilty.

Griffis was a high-ranking member of the Black Mob Gangstas (BMG), a set of the Bloods street gang that terrorized southeast Raleigh for years under the leadership of Demetrice Regus Devine, a/k/a “Respect.”

In December 2019, members of the Raleigh Police Department determined that the Defendant was selling crystal methamphetamine while on federal supervised release for a prior conviction, possession of a firearm by a felon.

From December 2019 to January 2020, agents conducted several controlled purchases of highly pure crystal methamphetamine (“Ice”) from Griffis.

On January 31, 2020, members of the Wake Forest Police Department responded to a call regarding an armed man at the intersection of Ligon Mill Road and Burlington Mills Road in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Officers saw the Defendant, who was near a vehicle that was occupied by the Defendant’s girlfriend. The Defendant then walked to a wooded area. Officers found crystal methamphetamine and a digital scale, which the Defendant had just attempted to hide in the woods.

Officers then executed a search warrant at the residence of the Defendant’s girlfriend, and officers recovered marijuana and 26 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

A few weeks later, a loaded 9mm firearm was located near the Ligon Mill Road intersection where the Defendant had been arrested. The firearm had been purchased by the Defendant’s girlfriend.

G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Raleigh Police Department, Wake Forest Police Department, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott A. Lemmon prosecuted the case.

This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Take Back North Carolina Initiative.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement. For additional information about this initiative, click here https://www.justice.gov/usao-ednc/tbnc.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-CR-539-D-1.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated October 15, 2021