Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

More Augusta gangs affiliating with national groups

Saturday, July 21, 2012 5:19 PM
Last updated Sunday, July 22, 2012 3:03 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

Local gangs are affiliating themselves with nationally known gangs, a move that has made them stronger and more organized, local law enforcement officials say.

Back | Next
"Blood" is painted on an abandoned Augusta house. Local gangs have become affiliated with the nationally known Bloods.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
"Blood" is painted on an abandoned Augusta house. Local gangs have become affiliated with the nationally known Bloods.

Many of these gang members are ex-inmates who learned about gang culture in prison. Others are moving from bigger cities such as Colum­bia and Atlanta. They see Augusta as an opportunity to make money with less competition.

The two gangs making the biggest push are the Bloods and Crips, said Richmond County schools Public Safety Cpl. Adrienne Burns, who has seen significant gang action in the school system.

At her school, Butler High, Burns said there are at least eight gangs, adding that this wasn’t just an anomaly at Butler.

She said the Bloods are becoming the prevalent gang. In a drawer of “flags” or bandanas she’s confiscated during the past school year, more than 50 percent of them were red, the color of the Bloods. The rest were primarily black or blue, the colors of the Folk Nation and Crips, which Burns said have formed a local partnership.

“Now, they work together to commit crimes and make money,” said Burns, a 10-year schools police veteran. “It’s more organized than before. If we continue on this path, we will see much more violent and nonviolent crimes.”

A few years ago, the local gangs were neighborhood-based, such as the Georgia Deadly Boys, also known as the 23rd Street gang after a road in south Augusta, and the Harrisburg Posse or Burg Gang. Now these two gangs are affiliated with the Bloods, said Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Vinson, who supervises the department’s gang investigators.

Vinson said members of Black Gangster Disciples, affiliated with Folk Nation and the Crips, are leaving prison and taking over the East Boundary gang known as the Bottom Boyz. They are also taking control of territory in the Hyde Park area.

“The jails are so full. In a 10-year robbery sentence, they maybe serve one year,” Vinson said. “Guys in their 30s get out of prison and puppet-master these kids with what they learned inside.”

Independent gangs still exist, such as the 9th Street Ward, the Hill­top Posse, Sunset, O-Dub or OWTT, the Meadowbrook Clique, the Apple Valley Posse, and the Southside Posse, he said.

Burns said there is a strong likelihood they will eventually become affiliated with a national group.

The issue of gangs in Augusta resurfaced after six people were wounded in a July 6 shooting on Broad Street that happened after the First Friday festival. No one has been arrested, but authorities say witness accounts lead them to believe gangs were involved.

A number of high-ranking gang members were taken off the street in a 2007 undercover sting operation in which the sheriff’s office teamed up with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Operation Augusta Ink, which operated out of a Tobacco Road tattoo parlor, netted 100 arrests, many of whom were gang members, authorities said, and confiscated more than 400 firearms.

“Richmond County should be commended for that operation,” said Devon Harris, a gang intervention specialist and founder of Full Circle Refuge, a ministry for at-risk youths. “However, the problem is not gone.”

Harris said that after Augusta Ink, many gang leaders were sent to federal prison, and “lieutenants” vied for the coveted leader positions.

“It also allowed for national leaders to move in,” Harris said.

Gangs are now multiracial, he said.

“Whether or not people want to see it, we have a gang problem in Augusta,” Harris said. “They are getting smarter, committing more crime and moving faster. The violence is also worse.”

Three task forces are working to combat local gangs: the FBI’s Safe Streets task force, the ATF’s Operation Cease Fire in Augusta, and the Regional Anti-Gang Enforcement based in South Carolina.

In September 2010, Corey Reid Garnett, 20, was shot in his apartment on Damascus Road. His homicide is unsolved, but his friends say they know it was gang -related.

James Sullivan, an 18-year-old graduate of the Academy of Rich­mond County and a friend of Garnett, watched his friends get caught up in gangs. However, the music engineer never saw the attraction to gangs, even before his former marching band mate was killed because he tried to “jump gangs.” He was a Crip and was trying to become a Blood, Sullivan said.

Sullivan said he had Harris as a mentor, though, something a lot of his friends did not have.

“Being in a gang is also about acceptance,” Harris said. “It’s about having a role model you don’t have at home.”

Burns said she regularly finds high school students, and even middle and some elementary school pupils, writing gang content in notebooks. She said she is also seeing more girls involved in gangs. They move to high schools and recruit the boys.

Burns sees gangs as a form of bullying and hopes to address the issue this year with a bullying-intervention seminar at the school.

“Some of these kids see me as a mother figure,” Burns said. “I will be whatever I need to be for them. Whatever keeps them out of a gang works for me.”

Comments (54) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
CobaltGeorge
158564
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/21/12 - 05:53 pm
11
2
countyman

will swear that this ain't so. Augusta is a peaceful crime free place to live and establish a business.

xpresso1
68
Points
xpresso1 07/21/12 - 06:44 pm
18
0
Well if the prison system

Well if the prison system would make it miserable to be there then they would not be so full..bring back chain gangs if they want to be part of a gang let it be that one.

CobaltGeorge
158564
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/21/12 - 07:00 pm
16
3
xpresso1

It would be an answer to the crime problem "BUT" you have too many Bleeding Heart Liberals that would have every racial profiling organization Occupying the steps of the WH.

Just My Opinion
5627
Points
Just My Opinion 07/21/12 - 07:04 pm
14
0
I know this article mentions

I know this article mentions that gangs are becoming more multiracial, but we all know the majority of gang members are black, and they're from the lower economic neighborhoods. If I know this, then you know good and well the police know this. So why don't the leaders of the black community do SOMETHING about it NOW?? Don't wait until the problem gets worse! Is it because the black community doesn't care? I can't believe that. Is it because the black community doesn't know how to handle the gangs? I can believe that...who wants to admit that their "child" could be involved in such horrific acts? Whatever. It's time the black community comes together and take control of themselves, before the gangs tear what they have apart.

CobaltGeorge
158564
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/21/12 - 07:59 pm
11
1
JMO

Black community have to do away with the "Don't Hear, Don't See, Don't Speak" befor they can live in a safe environment.

eb97
835
Points
eb97 07/21/12 - 08:10 pm
13
0
I can't believe they have

I can't believe they have just come to this conclusion. The juvenile probation officers have known this for some time. Who wasn't listening, I sure was. Our entire local government has turned a blind eye to this problem for far too long.

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 07/21/12 - 08:19 pm
1
7
JMO... Do you mean the gang

JMO... Do you mean the gang members in Augusta? The majority of gang members in the US are Hispanic, black, and then white..

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/21/12 - 08:21 pm
7
0
Gangs are surrogate families.

Gang leaders are surrogate father-figures.

dichotomy
32906
Points
dichotomy 07/21/12 - 08:41 pm
16
0
We be locked, cocked, and

We be locked, cocked, and ready south of Spirit Creek. Send them boyz on out.

Instead of "rehabilitation" our judges should be passing out 10 year minimum sentences in GP Large tents, no AC, no TV, chain gang labor 6 days a week in pink and black horizontally striped uniforms, and fried bologna sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. See how many repeat offenders you get then. Rehabilitation programs DO NOT WORK. Prison "reform" HAS NOT WORKED. The parents have not done their jobs. The schools have not done their jobs. The courts have not done their jobs. And now the state legislature AND the judicial system have rolled over belly up and gone into the dying cockroach position on us.

Lock and load folks. The state has told us we are on our own just when THEY are getting organized.

Just My Opinion
5627
Points
Just My Opinion 07/21/12 - 09:12 pm
12
0
"JMO... Do you mean the gang

"JMO... Do you mean the gang members in Augusta? The majority of gang members in the US are Hispanic, black, and then white.."

County, who really cares?? We're not talking gang members in the US, we're talking about gang members here in Augusta...and you know it. You are sharper than that. I think it would be a VERY safe assumption that we are talking black gangs here. Okay? Let's not split hairs on this and chase tails...THAT is exactly the reason we have let things slip by for far too long. The majority of these gangs are in the south and east Augusta, right? The majority population in south and east Augusta is black, right? I'm truly asking, and you're the perfect person to ask...is that right? The black communities know what they have amongst them, and the best way to combat that problem is for them to turn within, fix their own problems BEFORE the law does. One way or another, it has to stop. I would really welcome any black commenters on here to speak up and suggest what they think is the best way to handle these problems. And please, y'all...let's stay away from the race-baiting and hate posts. We need to be honest about this and confront it.

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 07/21/12 - 09:34 pm
0
0
The best way to handle this
Unpublished

The best way to handle this growing problem is "responsible parenting".
Do You know where your kid is tonight? When you have a huge block of the new generation worshiping "gangsta" music, idolizing the thug lifestyle what do you expect? You know, the truth can be painful, but it's the truth none-the-less.
Our whole way of life is pretty much headed into the sewer.

kissofdeath
413
Points
kissofdeath 07/21/12 - 09:43 pm
0
14
The news media know how to

The news media know how to fabricate a story about gangs in Richmond County. There's no gangs just certain members of the law enforcement are sterotyping a particular race group. These cowards, in Augusta, are not killing people over home turf or the colored clothes you wear in the wrong neighborhood.. Just some wanna be "thugs." Send them supposed to be Augusta gang to California.

Just My Opinion
5627
Points
Just My Opinion 07/21/12 - 09:56 pm
9
0
Kiss, not debating you on

Kiss, not debating you on this, but why do you really think there are no gangs in Augusta? Why would you think that a city the size of Augusta couldn't have gangs? Again, not debating..just asking you, why do you think the media would perpetuate this...what's in it for them? And are you saying that some racist cops are just making this stuff up so that young black males are targeted?

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 07/21/12 - 09:57 pm
0
0
kissofdeath: denial, denial,
Unpublished

kissofdeath: denial, denial, denial. Info gathered from black and white sources. National gang infiltration in Augusta is in its "incubation" stage. The violence you speak of is on its way. But don't worry about it, really this stuff only happens in California, right?

Newsflash
1911
Points
Newsflash 07/21/12 - 10:06 pm
10
0
We be locked, cocked, and

dichotomy...............You hit the nail on the head. 100 % correct. Thanks for posting the truth. Group hugs and time out will not change the thug mentality. But...........that embalming fluid sure takes the kick right out of em . ''When you fear for your life ....fight for your life''.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 07/21/12 - 10:23 pm
11
0
There's a gang problem for

There's a gang problem for sure. It's not at the Compton level, but we got one. To say we don't is complete denial. Police targeting certain race? Doesn't matter what race they are if their in a gang target them and arrest them!
I'm sure with the right people involved and a plan you can eliminate these thugs.

Little Lamb
45955
Points
Little Lamb 07/21/12 - 10:55 pm
6
2
Downtown, where all the lights are bright

Sheriff Strength said that downtown was safe and virtually crime free. The trouble is that other neighborhoods in Augusta are getting more and more crime ridden. If you are going to have a gang, you need money for clothing, guns, knives, storage rental, gasoline, spray paint, etc. You are going to steal it.

The question is, was this story inspired by Richard (Shaft) Roundtree, Scott (I'm Anointed) Peebles, or Robbie (Road Patrol) Silas?

AutumnLeaves
7696
Points
AutumnLeaves 07/21/12 - 11:18 pm
10
0
Tell me...

Tell me something I don't know. Our neighborhood was dealing with gang activity since about 2000. This is common knowledge.

KSL
129373
Points
KSL 07/21/12 - 11:26 pm
7
1
K of d, who cares if they

K of d, who cares if they are members of the gangs or wantabe members? Their behavior is not acceptable and it needs to be treated the same. And I am wondering just how you come to know they are not affiliated.

Dr_Evil
101
Points
Dr_Evil 07/21/12 - 11:54 pm
11
0
Head in the sand

Until community leaders pull their head out of the sand and demand accountability, we are in for some serious trouble. Every time the police have to do something deemed "unpleasant", these leaders and "reverends" scream racism. It's about time they demand accountability for the parents of these punks. It's about time they "demand" their neighborhoods clean up their act. It's about time they support law enforcement. The "I ain't seen nuthin'" mentality needs to stop. Until certain neighborhoods and so-called leaders stop viewing gang members and drug dealers as heroes and law enforcement as the enemy, nothing will change. Instead of making "excuses", they need to join forces with the citizens that are sick and tired of being held hostage by these punks and the "racism" charges they hide behind. The government needs to stop handing out checks for those who "procreate" with no intention of being "parents". It's time for the community to demand accountability.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 07/21/12 - 11:57 pm
0
0
Amen!!
Unpublished

The bleeding hearts have turned the jails into a joke with this rehabilitation junk that doesn't work. They completely tune out common sense and reality to make themselves feel better claiming its compassion. They risk the lives of innocent productive victims to give lowlifes 50 chances they don't deserve. When fed up citizens open season on all gang members in the US, they will finally get it. As it stands now with this joke of a bleeding heart justice system, jail isn't a deterrence so why not??

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 07/22/12 - 12:02 am
0
0
You got that right Dr Evil!
Unpublished

We all know where most of these gang members come from, yet the government continues to let them breed at alarming rates. Why?? because the bleeding hearts and activists will cry and those communities will riot if they are stopped and held accountable. Sickening to have to keep bowing down to them while they ruin this country and terrorize its citizens.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/22/12 - 02:16 am
6
0
JggrNAUT
223
Points
JggrNAUT 07/22/12 - 04:46 am
4
2
Community

To the previous comments regarding the responsibilities within the black community : Even if the black community comes together to help combat the issues, it will take ALL of Augusta to come together with resolutions. To place blame is just an irresponsible and selfish mindset. Gangs wouldn't have power if the sense of "family" provided wasn't more attractive that what's at home...... That may be the best place to start.

magnoliabelle
23
Points
magnoliabelle 07/22/12 - 07:41 am
3
2
Scared to go out

It is a sad day when people are afraid to go out during the day or at night. So afraid we'll be car jacked, or robbed geting out of your vehicle to go to dinner, or what ever else you might leave your house for! As for me and my family, we stay home and mind our own business because of the fear of South Augusta. I am locked and cocked, thank God for the right to bear arms, because if someone tries to break into my house, they will be shot on the spot they stand. If Richomond County Sheriff's dept. cannot defend my family, we will at all cost defend ourselves. What a sorry state of affairs Richmond County is in. And who is the Sheriff during all this expansion of crime?!!
Ronnie Strength, good job Soon to be ex sheriff, you really are a joke. Can't stand the heat sheriff, and the mess you've let this county become, you should refund all the pay you've earned over the years to clean up the mess you let happen on your watch.

nocnoc
42522
Points
nocnoc 07/22/12 - 01:38 pm
5
0
Proposed Spray Paint Can Registation?

(UPDATED TO CORRECT TYPOS')

NATIONAL NEWS STORIES AROUND THE USA

US House members are considering purposing a federal Spray Paint Can Registration law in light of the growing problem with Spray Paint Can Abuse. They are waiting to see how the campaign donations and exit job offers are before deciding.

California is considering legalizing Spray Paint Cans for Artistic use with valid Spray Paint Can usage ID. The ID can be pick up for $19.95 at the local DMV with a note signed by any state certified art teacher.

The GA DNR also announced today that the tagging (spray painting) of wild boars, bears and alligators needs to done using only certified Green Friendly paint. The GA DNR spokesperson indicated looking for a (GF) symbol on the can.
GF is animal safe and DNR gets 10 cents for every can sold. Otherwise the survivors family will be required to clean up any improperly Tagged animals, and face a fine.

PETA - Painting Eatable Tasty Animals. Announce at the start of its latest donation drive that they have posted instructions on how to safely tag gang dogs in the hood, that are used to mark floating gang banger boundaries. They indicated collarless, UN-vaccinated Pit Bulls, with foaming saliva problems make the best animals to tag.

The EPA has indicated it is looking at fines for the improper disposal of spray paint cans which still contain unused propellants.

Earth 1st Association - released scientific proof Spray Paint propellants add to global warming. They are excepting donations now to fund the environment neutral emergency conference in Tahiti. They encourage all Gang Bangers to police up their brass and use Ozone safe ammo whenever possible.

LOCAL NEWS
A few Augusta commissioners announced plans to use $3 Millions of discretionary TSPLOST money, if TSPLOST is approved. The proposed plan call for using a local college with financial and bookkeeping problems to help them through their difficult times. The fund research is to cover the urban design concepts behind the symbols used by want-a-be still in training gang bangers. The vote was successful after several commissioner members failed to attend the Tuesday night meeting. Resulting in a 3-0 vote, it was decided to establish a new wing in the Augusta Museum dedicated to Graffiti, Gang and other Tag marks. The 3 commissioners have already reserved air rights, have contacted the usual relatives to build the wing and remotely oversee the funding at only a 50% admin fee.

The RCSO announced the recent heighten awareness of tagging and Gangs has nothing to do with the upcoming election. Stating any one of the candidates is well qualified to handle the limited county gang activity and noted there was no such as Gang activity on Board St. This, statement has citizens puzzled because of the numerous tag marks still seen on Board street stores over the last 3 years, that have not acted on by RC Code enforcement.

Safety Course To Be Offered.
Because so many mentally challenged Gang Banger Trainees have been taken to University Hospital for spray painting their eyes, safety classes on Tagging will be held. A local Blood member was quoted as say "Look Mo^%$# we really don't recruit *&$ sharpest tacks." The Crypt's spokesperson quickly responded that "Our members were even less ed-u-ma-cated and the Bloods. Dda-ere's nothing mo dumb than a Crypt, look how many of us are in jail." Safety classes will be held in the alley between ______ & _______ (staff report) at _____AM. More news later. Please bring your own (GF) regulation size Spray Paint Can. This entry level class will be Gang Neutral, so only black and white paints are allowed.

BREAKING NEWS JUST IN
In a White House released a statement. "Tagging the White House is not an option, until after re-election. and only if we lose. We are already in discussions with congress for additional vote buying stimulus money, that will provide 4 free spray paint cans a week to those that cannot afford them, themselves."

DISCLAIMER:
To the punks who are practicing to be want-a-be gang puppies this is called sarcasm.

Its something you learn in a school. Its a way of poking fun at something without killing it. We understand school vs. prison may have confused you, considering the poor IQ levels many want-a-be gang puppies have while in training. But don't worry after gang training there well be no need to think for yourself. You will have a Gang to do that for you.

Also in case any person was getting ready to call their congressman to support or protest the Spray Paint Can Registration drive. This was a joke.

Seriously
Gang Puppies, Pull up your drawers. Get a life, learn to think for yourself. Be someone, not one of a dozen stooges in a group of filled with idiots all headed to jail or a grave by 25.

nevertoolate
291
Points
nevertoolate 07/22/12 - 08:04 am
9
0
Dr_Evil~I like your statement...

The government needs to stop handing out checks for those who "procreate" with no intention of being "parents"."

And I understand what I'm about to say is a generalized statement which makes it illogical however; the low-economic, black, gang-infested community will eventually call upon somebody else to fix their problem.

I can guarantee if I ever feel threatened, I will fix the problem...somebody's going to be gravely hurt or killed and I'll do it legally. If they survive, they'll wish they hadn't.

onlysane1left
216
Points
onlysane1left 07/22/12 - 08:07 am
3
8
Blah Blah Blah

People say the same old crap, yet, there is evidence to refute the statement. James Holmes and Jared Loughner, grow up with both parents in the home, yet they killed people for absolutely no reason. How can that be explained? To explain crime, is to think there is reason behind it, sometimes, there are no reasons behind why people commit crimes. Boys join gangs for whatever reason (No father, peer pressure, feeling of belonging to something, just for kicks, etc.) No amount of fatherly love, community unity, or police support will stop some child from joining a gang, if that is what they choose to do. Some people just believe in chaos; there is no stopping them from this belief. Stop trying to reason with it.

Lastly, no, it is not the liberals that make deals that release people in jail early, it is the fact that to put someone in jail COSTS MONEY!! People complain about tax money being spent on everything else, yet, do you want to raise taxes to build more jails? If you are complaining that your taxes are too high already, yet, you want these thugs in jail, then you pay the cost, because once they are arrested, they are in the custody of the level government jail they dwell in. The local, state and federal governments have to support the welfare of the felons in their custody. They can not do anything cruel and unusual to them because it is against the constutition. (So, don't blast Obama about disregarding the constitution, yet, you want criminals to suffer something unusual which is disregarding the eighth amendment...) To keep them in their care, it takes money. Everyone has budget problems, so there is no money, thus jails are trying to keep costs down, so instead of creating programs to help youths stay away from gangs, they are cutting funds and releasing convicts earlier, thus leaving the jails open to for more convicts for more short term stays. If you want more jail time for criminals, expect more taxes, PERIOD!

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 07/22/12 - 08:12 am
2
0
does this mean the Hilltop

does this mean the Hilltop Posse replaced the Sand Hills Gang?

dichotomy
32906
Points
dichotomy 07/22/12 - 08:49 am
8
1
Jail Money.

"People complain about tax money being spent on everything else, yet, do you want to raise taxes to build more jails?"

No, we do not want to raise taxes. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has proven that people can be incarcerated very cheaply and his methods ARE NOT considered cruel and unusual nor are the unconstitutional. Whatever small amount of additional funds need for tents, concertina wire, and a few more guards can be diverted out of welfare funds, Section 8 funds, and the ever increasing ridiculous food stamp programs.

Of course the point is kind of mute considering the recent GA "no jail" law. The legislature seems to prefer seeing armed citizens in running gun battles with thugs, gangs, and thieves rather than putting up a few tents and buying some concertina wire. I say we give them what they want.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Scots reject independence in historic vote

EDINBURGH, Scotland — Scottish voters have rejected independence, deciding to remain part of the United Kingdom after a historic referendum that shook the country to its core.
Search Augusta jobs