RICO Case Leads to Convictions of Three Gangster Disciples Leaders
A grand jury has convicted three leaders of the national criminal organization, Gangster Disciples. The convicted offenses include racketeering conspiracy (RICO) involving murder, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, drug trafficking conspiracy, and other crimes.
According to a Department of Justice (DOJ) release, the first defendant, Lewis Mobley of Atlanta, Georgria was convicted of RICO conspiracy, including a sentencing enhancement for murder and a sentencing enhancement for drugs; committing an attempted murder in aid of racketeering and using a firearm to do so and possessing with intent to distribute cocaine and possessing a firearm relating to the drug crime.
Vertuies Wall, also from Atlanta, was similarly convicted on RICO conspiracy charges, including a sentencing enhancement for murder.
Finally, Lawrence Grice, of Houston, Texas was convicted of RICO conspiracy, including a sentencing enhancement for drugs and a separate conviction for drug conspiracy regarding more than five kilograms of cocaine.
The gang the individuals were leaders in, Gangster Disciples, originated in Chicago in the 1970s. Today, the gang is highly structured with a hierarchy of leadership posts known as “Positions of Authority” or “POAs.” The DOJ explains that the gang strictly enforces rules, with the principles rule being “silence and secrecy”- a prohibition on cooperating with law enforcement. Violations of the rule are punishable by death.
According to the DOJ release, the gang members carried out a pattern of violent and serious crimes including murder, attempted murder, robbery, bank and wire fraud, drug trafficking, and extortion.
One of these crimes was the deadly shooting at the Wings Café nightclub in Georgia where three people were killed and an additional three wounded after Wall and his subordinates opened gunfire on rivals in the club.
Another case discussed was one in which Mobley shot a teenage victim point-blank because he believed the victim disrespected the gang by walking through a crowd shouting a slogan and wearing colors associated with a rival gang.
“The Gangster Disciples are extremely organized and their reach is wide-spread across the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Byung “BJay” Pak for the Northern District of Georgia. “Their strict chain of command that carried their message of violence and crime throughout the organization posed a serious threat nationwide. They lured young people into the gang with the promise of a better life, and then inducted them into an appalling world of violence and crime.”
Evidence showed that the three individuals all held leadership positions within the gang organization.
The FBI Safe Streets Task Force, DeKalb Police Department, DeKalb District Attorney’s Office and Atlanta Police Department investigated this case.
Posted in The Takedown