Twenty-three gang members and associates indicted on racketeering, drug trafficking, and firearm charges
ATLANTA - Twenty-five defendants, including three of the seven founders of the Ghostface Gangsters Gang (“GFG”), have pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, attempted murder, maiming, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, use of a firearm during a crime of violence, use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
“On the street and from behind bars, Ghostface Gangsters have trafficked drugs and orchestrated and perpetrated horrific acts of violence,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan. K. Buchanan. “Thanks to the tireless and coordinated efforts of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, 25 gang members and associates charged in this case have pleaded guilty, including three of the men who created this dangerous criminal organization.”
“ATF will continue to dedicate federal resources in conjunction with those crucial law enforcement contributions of local agencies to the pursuit of eradicating and forestalling criminal gang activity,” said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Atlanta Field Division, Beau Kolodka.
“The Cobb County Police Department is proud of the work of our investigators and civilian staff who work hand in hand with other local, state, and federal agencies in these types of cases. The perseverance and diligence required of such interagency cooperation is what is necessary to ensure such violent criminals are charged and prosecuted accordingly. We remain dedicated to protecting our citizens and bringing to justice those who would seek to do them harm. In this particular case, Cobb County Police investigators worked long hours and gathered an inordinate amount of evidence to help secure this indictment. We are especially proud of the sincere dedication of all involved. And we vow to continue to work in such a fashion on future cases as well,” said Cobb County Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer.
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: GFG, a whites-only gang, was originally organized in or about 2000 in a Georgia county jail. Within GFG, the seven founding members are known as “pillars.” All GFG members trace their gang “bloodline” directly back to one of the pillars. GFG members and associates engaged in drug distribution and acts of violence involving murder, kidnapping, assault, and witness intimidation. GFG operated both within and outside the Georgia prison system.
Within the past year, three GFG pillars charged in the case have been convicted and will be, or have been, sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael L. Brown as follows:
Earlier during the case:
This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Cobb County Police Department, along with assistance from the Georgia Department of Corrections and the following law enforcement agencies: Marietta Cobb Smyrna (MCS) Organized Crime Task Force and Narcotics Unit, Cobb Anti-Gang Enforcement (CAGE) Unit, Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, Marietta Police Department, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Ball Ground Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglasville Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, Floyd County Police Department, Rome/Floyd Metro Task Force, Carrollton Police Department, Gainesville Police Department, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County (Alabama) Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Newton County Sheriff’s Office, Covington Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Murray County Sheriff’s Office, and the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Theodore S. Hertzberg and Erin N. Spritzer of the Northern District of Georgia and Trial Attorney Kristen S. Taylor of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section are prosecuting the case, which was investigated and initiated by former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine M. Hoffer and Jolee Porter.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.