Sheriff identifies suspects in sting

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One day after what authorities say was the most successful undercover operation in Richmond County's history, police on Thursday released the names of most of the suspects nabbed in the countywide raid.

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Sgt. Blaise Dresser of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office points out graffiti that was left on the walls inside of Colur Tyme Tattoo Parlor on Tobacco Road. The shop was used by undercover agents to track down gang suspects over the course of 16 months. "The Mall" is lingo for a place where marijuana smoking is permitted.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Sgt. Blaise Dresser of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office points out graffiti that was left on the walls inside of Colur Tyme Tattoo Parlor on Tobacco Road. The shop was used by undercover agents to track down gang suspects over the course of 16 months. "The Mall" is lingo for a place where marijuana smoking is permitted.

Of the 71 suspects arrested so far, police said at least six are "high-ranking" members of local gangs. Still, 22 suspects remain at large in connection with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office's 16-month investigation, sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles said Thursday.

The lieutenant said the arrests should serve as a warning to other gang members, and that undercover officers are embedded in local gangs.

"Prior to this we were largely reactionary as far as the investigative unit is concerned," Lt. Peebles said. "Proactive initiatives are now the order of the day for us."

Sgt. Blaise Dresser, of the sheriff's gang task force, said the sheriff's office has "hammered" the Meadowbrook Clique and Georgia Deadly Boys gangs -- removing a large number of their older and high-ranking members.

"It's going to be nothing but a few little kids and some stragglers," Sgt. Dresser said.

About 150 Richmond County deputies, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. marshals and personnel from the Georgia State Patrol Aviation Unit began executing federal and state arrest warrants at 4 a.m. Wednesday.

The action, dubbed Operation Augusta Ink, was the result of an undercover operation begun by the sheriff's office inside the Colur Tyme Tattoo Parlor on Tobacco Road. Police rented the building and operated the business in order to build contacts within many of the city's largest gangs.

So far, 400 firearms have been seized and large amounts of crack cocaine and marijuana have been recovered. Meanwhile, investigators have also begun to draw connections between some of the suspects to earlier open crimes in Richmond and Columbia counties. Lt. Peebles said police have recovered weapons from the Oct. 13 burglary of the business Shooters on Patriots Way and are trying to connect the case to at least one of those arrested Wednesday.

Three men who police said are high-ranking members of the Meadowbrook Clique -- Terrance Baker, William Johnson and Cyrus Brown -- have been charged with the Nov. 2 break-in at Walden's and Moore in Martinez. About 30 guns were taken during the incident, Lt. Peebles said.

On Thursday, 31 of 48 people indicted on federal charges were brought in federal court for their initial appearance or arraignments, according to U.S. Attorney Edmund A. Booth Jr.

Those defendants whom federal prosecutors want held without bond, 11 of those indicted, will have detention hearings next week, Mr. Booth said.

Staff Writer Sandy Hodson contributed to this article.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.


KEY ARRESTS IN GANG BUST

STATE AND FEDERAL INDICTMENTS

This is not a comprehensive list. It does not include the names of several juveniles arrested by police. Some of the suspects were apprehended earlier in the investigation and others during Wednesday's raid.

The following six are high-ranking gang members, according to police:

- Xavier Zane Baker , theft of firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer, possession and sale of a stolen firearm, receipt of a firearm while under felony indictment. Investigators said Mr. Baker is an active, high-ranking member of the Meadowbrook Clique and allegedly sold weapons stolen in December 2006 from Shooters on Patriots Way.

- Darrell Marquail Council , two counts of possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun, two counts of transfer of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun without proper application. Mr. Council is alledgedly a high-ranking member of the Georgia Deadly Boys.

- John Anthony "Hood" Osbourne , dealing in firearms without a license, possession of a firearm having an obliterated serial number, possession of a stolen firearm. Police said Mr. Osbourne is the highest-ranking member of the Georgia Deadly Boys whom they were able to apprehend.

- William Darrell Johnson , charges unavailable. Mr. Johnson is allegedly a high-ranking member of the Meadowbrook Clique.

- Cyrus Brown , charges unavailable. Mr. Brown is allegedly a high-ranking member of Meadowbrook Clique.

- Pierce Jamal Anfield (no photo available) , possession of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, two counts of possession of a revolver by a person under 18, sale of marijuana, theft by receiving stolen property. Investigators said he is a high-ranking member of Georgia Deadly Boys who sold police drugs and guns on several occasions.

Other arrests as a result of Operation Augusta Ink:

1. Mercedes Hyman, 17, three counts of carrying a concealed weapon, two counts of possession of a pistol by a person under 18.

2. Nick Sanders, 17, theft by receiving stolen property.

3. Vontrez Emerson Dent, possession of a revolver by a person under 18.

4. Terrance Baker, five counts of theft by receiving stolen property.

5. Dewane Maurice Cain, burglary.

6. Antoine Cobb, sale of a controlled substance.

7. Christopher Lee Nichols, three counts of possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

8. Darryl Troyel Gibson, two counts of theft by receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm by a first offender on probation.

9. Willie Tillman Adams Jr., carrying a concealed weapon, two counts of theft by receiving stolen property.

10. Kelcey Dwayne Roberts, two counts of theft by receiving stolen property.

11. Willie Edward Hooper, possession of a revolver by a person under 18, carrying a concealed weapon.

12. Donzell Emery Hazel, possession of a revolver by a person under 18.

13. Tracey Widener Tompkins, seven counts of sale of a controlled substance, possession of a dangerous drug.

14. Milton Williams Jr., three counts of possession of a pistol by a person under 18, four counts of carrying a concealed weapon, two counts of possession of a revolver by a person under 18, sale of cocaine and trafficking cocaine.

15. Soloman Kwano Paschal, eight counts of theft by receiving stolen property, six counts of possession of a pistol by a person under 18, seven counts of carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

16. Jonathan David Bridges, three counts of distribution of marijuana, possession of a stolen firearm.

17. Justin Brian Bossick, distribution of marijuana.

18. Dewane Maurice Cain, possession and sale of a stolen firearm, felon in possession of a firearm.

19. Robert Eugene Hale, receipt of a firearm while under felony indictment.

20. Kenneth Wayne Campbell, three counts of felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

21. Timothy David Chalker, possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun, transfer of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun without proper application, manufacture of a sawed-off shotgun.

22. Christopher Lorenzo Curtis, theft of firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer, possession of a stolen firearm.

23. Cedric Derell Davenport, two counts of possession and sale of a stolen firearm, theft of firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer.

24. Patrick Lorenzo Dawson, sale or possession of a stolen motor vehicle, four counts of felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of possession of a stolen firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm having an obliterated serial number.

25. Gregory Humphrey, sale or possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

26. Dennis Durham, distribution of cocaine hydrochloride.

27. Jonathan Marcell Johnson, distribution of cocaine hydrochloride, three counts of dealing in firearms without a license, possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun, transfer of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun without proper application.

28. James Lewis Jackson Jr., distribution of cocaine hydrochloride.

29. Marvin Hikeem Griffin, possession of a stolen firearm.

30. Jermaine Hannah, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun.

31. Serrano Marquese Williams, transfer of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun without proper application.

32. Randy Eugene Harris, three counts of dealing in firearms without a license, making false statements in the acquisition of firearms, three counts of transfer of a firearm to a nonresident.

33. Antonio Perez Johnson, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base, possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of cocaine base.

34. George Edwards Jr., conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base, distribution of 5 grams or more of cocaine base.

35. Doniel Jamal Hicks, three counts of felon in possession of a firearm.

36. Willie James Johnson, two counts of felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession of a stolen firearm.

37. Tekeil Darris Lee, possession of stolen firearms, possession of a firearm having an obliterated serial number.

38. James Shubert Clifford Jr., possession of stolen firearms, receipt of a firearm while under indictment.

39. Amtron Quintez McCladdie, five counts of felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm.

40. Danaschio Donte Murphy, dealing in firearms without a license, distribution of MDMA.

41. Moses Adam James Pierce III, two counts of felon in possession of a firearm.

42. Brent Guillome Proctor, five counts of distribution of marijuana, use of a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking offense, possession of a stolen firearm.

43. Kelcey Dwayne Roberts, two counts of possession of stolen firearms.

44. Lloyd Ray, three counts of trafficking stolen firearms.

45. Jerald Singleton, one count of trafficking stolen firearms.

46. Tyrone Robinson, three counts of felon in possession of a firearm, possession and sale of a stolen firearm.

47. Marcus Darrell Salmond, two counts of distribution of marijuana.

48. James Ernest Shaffer, possession of a firearm having an obliterated serial number.

49. James David Simmons Sr., two counts of felon in possession of a firearm, possession of an unregistered firearm, transfer of an unregistered firearm without proper application.

50. Wilbur St. Surin, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, distribution of marijuana.

51. Dwayne Cleon O'Sullivan, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana.

52. Marquell Washington, possession of a firearm having an obliterated serial number.

53. Jerell DeAngelo Wilson, two counts of distribution of marijuana.

Source: Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles


Operational costs

Lt. Scott Peebles said money used by the sheriff's office to fund the investigation came from asset forfeitures, such as drug or weapons seizures. Additional funding was provided by the ATF and Project Safe Neighborhood, a federal program to reduce gun crime.


* Project Safe Neighborhood funding $75,000

* ATF funding $46,398

* Sheriff's Department funding $106,225

* Total cost $227,623

Note: Figures are as of Nov. 12 and do not include investigator's salaries, overtime, travel expenses and some other costs relating to the investigation.

Source: Richmond County Sheriff's Office

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