The U.S. Department of Justice announced that among the four dozen alleged Gangster Disciples members charged in indictments, a former Atlanta-area police officer who prosecutors say claimed to be a hit man for the violent gang and tipped off other members about police activity.
Federal agents have arrested multiple members and associates of the national gang The Gangster Disciples on RICO charges stemming from an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on April. Agents also arrested Gangster Disciples members on a separate indictment handed down in Memphis, Tennessee.
Vancito Gumbs, who was an officer in DeKalb County, just east Atlanta, allegedly tipped off fellow gang members to police activity, including an October raid on a bar that he knew a gang member frequented, the indictment says. He also told someone he killed people as a hit man for the gang, according to the FBI.
The Gangster Disciples are a national gang active in approximately 24 states, including Georgia. The Gangster Disciples brought money into the gang through, among other things, drug trafficking, robbery, carjacking, extortion, wire fraud, credit card fraud, insurance fraud and bank fraud. The gang protected its power and operation through threats, intimidation and violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault, and obstruction of justice. It also promoted the Gangster Disciples enterprise through member-only activities, including conference calls, celebrations of the birthday of the Gangster Disciples founder, the annual Gangster Ball, award ceremonies, and other events.
The gang also provided financial and other support to members charged with or incarcerated for gang-related offenses, and members who were fugitives from law enforcement would be provided “safe houses” in which to hide from police. To introduce the criminal nature of the Gangster Disciples to a new member, older members and leaders in the various local groups ordered newer members to commit crimes, including murder, robbery and drug trafficking. Further, Gangster Disciples members would teach other members how to commit certain crimes, including fraud crimes, and would provide drugs on discount to other Gangster Disciples members who would then resell the drugs.
The indictment alleges that Gangster Disciples members committed 10 murders, 12 attempted murders, two robberies, the extortion of rap artists to force the artists to become affiliated with the Gangster Disciples, and fraud resulting in losses of over $450,000. In addition, the Gangster Disciples trafficked in large amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, illegal prescription drugs, and marijuana. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of 34 different firearms seized as part of the investigation.
In the Georgia indictment alone, the grand jury indicted Gangster Disciples members from multiple cities in the state to include Atlanta, Decatur, Stone Mountain, Marietta, Valdosta, Macon, and Cochran. They also arrested gang members in Birmingham, Alabama; Denver, Colorado; Wichita, Kansas; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Madison, Wisconsin; and San Jose, California.
“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,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “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. Within Georgia, the leadership of the Gangster Disciples resided mostly in metro Atlanta, yet the reach of the crimes committed extended into far south and west Georgia. We hope this indictment warns the leaders of these gangs that Atlanta is not a good place to do business.”