ABOVE PHOTO: (Pete Sherrard / shutterstock)
By Kate Brumback
ATLANTA — Alleged members of the Gangster Disciples, including high-ranking leaders and a former Atlanta-area police officer who prosecutors say claimed to be a hit man for the gang, have been charged with racketeering in federal indictments unsealed Wednesday.
An indictment filed in federal court in Atlanta last week names 32 people and a second indictment in Memphis, Tennessee, charges 16 more. The 48 people are accused of participating in coordinated criminal activity, including drug trafficking, robbery, carjacking, extortion, wire fraud, credit card fraud, insurance fraud and bank fraud.
The Gangster Disciples is a violent gang that began in Chicago in the 1970s when the Black Disciples and the Supreme Gangsters merged, the Atlanta indictment says. It’s a highly structured and hierarchical organization divided into geographic groups.
Charged in the indictment is Vancito Gumbs, who prosecutors say was a member of the Gangster Disciples while also serving as a police officer in DeKalb County, just outside Atlanta. Gumbs said in August that he killed people as a hit man for the gang, according to the indictment.
He traveled with another gang member last fall to “take care of GD business” and called another gang member in October to warn him to stay away from a sports bar that police were raiding, the Atlanta indictment says.
Gumbs resigned in October while under investigation for criminal activity after someone reported that he was using drugs, DeKalb County police Chief James Conroy said. Conroy described Gumbs as “a bad apple” and said he has no reason to believe any other DeKalb officers were involved.
The national leader of the gang, known as the chairman, is in prison and is identified in the indictment as L.H.
Board members are the highest ranking gang members after the chairman, and at least one of them, Shauntay Craig, is charged in the Atlanta indictment. State-level leaders are called governors. Regional leaders, who oversee several states, are called governors of governors.
Among those indicted in Atlanta were three people who prosecutors say served as governors of governors at various times: Alonzo Walton oversaw a region that included Georgia, Florida, Texas, Indiana and South Carolina; Terrance Summers oversaw Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida; and Adrian Jackson was governor of governor for the western states, including California.
It was not immediately clear whether any of those named in the indictment had lawyers who could comment on the charges.