RCSO arrests 9 from SMM gang, officials starting statewide gang unit

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — 9 gang members are accused and facing multiple charges. The Sheriffs Office says taking down members of the Sex Money Murder gang was a team effort.

This is the third big gang bust for Sheriff Roundtree along with DA Paine, they tell News 12 they are ready to take down more.

The Sheriff says the SMM gang started in New York. He stated national gans are now infiltrating smaller neighborhoods and trying to consolidate certain gangs.

The collaborative effort from the Sheriffs Office, the DAs Office the FBI and the US Attorney Office for the Southern District of Georgia is what played a part in taking down many gangs including the SMM gang.

Tara Lyons, Assistant US Attorney for Southern District of Georgia says they plan to continue these efforts, He will be here to support his local law enforcement partners, hes here to clean up these neighborhoods, and make these families feel safe, hes reiterated that to all the Assistant US Attorneys in the Southern District of GA.”

The Sheriffs Office continues to work on their turnaround program, identifying people at risk of joining a gang. The program tries to assist people finding a job, getting an education and offering them mentors.

As gangs like this are becoming a problem across the state of Georgia the State Attorney General seeks to find a solution.

General Chris Carr recently stated he has plans to start a statewide gang unit, something the Richmond County Sheriffs Office is doing on a local level.

A survey shows there are more than 71 thousand active gang members in the state and almost every county has gang members living there.

Georgia DOEs 2016-2017 school year totals show in more than 50 schools, Richmond County has 24 gang-related incidents and in about 30 schools, Columbia County had 3 gang-related incidents.

Attorney General Carr says for gangs, it usually boils down to money, but he says what is most concerning is how gangs are teaming up their resources to spread the violence and the drugs even further.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — Several members of the “Sex, Money, Murder” (SMM) gang have been indicted or are awaiting indictment at the State and Federal level.

Intelligence officers and other officials say SMM is a subset of the Bloods criminal street gang. This gang is allegedly responsible for a number of violations, federal charges, and violent incidents.

The investigation found that members of SMM, who also have connections to the SMM National Organization base in Atlanta, Georgia, have been indicted and arrested. They are as follows:

Anthony Jaquez Butler; 10 counts, Aggravated Assault, Possession of Firearm During Commission of a Crime, Theft by Receiving Stolen Property (Firearm)

Christopher Cohen: aka “Ferrari Rollie”; 10 counts Theft by Receiving Stolen Property (Firearm), Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Reizhjon V. Coleman; 10 counts Aggravated Assault; Cruelty to Children in the First Degree, Possession of Firearm During the Commission of a Crime.

Jamall Octavious Duke: aka Murda Mall”; 20 counts Murder, Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime.

Eric Leonard Wiley; 5 counts Aggravated Assault, Cruelty to Children in the First Degree, False Imprisonment, Cruelty to Children in the Third Degree.

Rashad Smith: aka “Sosa”; Possession of Firearm by 1st Offender; Possession of Marijuana, Possession of MDMA.

Additionally, Rashad Smith will be charged federally with Receipt of a Firearm while under Indictment. Christopher Cohen and Johnny Franklin will be charged federally with Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

Sheriff Roundtree stated he and his team are committed to “disrupt and dismantle criminal gang organizations”.

8:07 amAUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — Richmond County deputies along with the FBI, the District Attorneys Office, and the United States Attorneys Office will be holding a joint press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Deputies say this is all part of their initiatives to reduce violent crimes and gang activity in Richmond County.

The press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Richmond County Sheriffs Office administrative building.

AUGUSTA Ga. (WJBF)- – Big news expected to come out of a press conference Tuesday. The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has teamed up with several law enforcement agencies to indict members of a local street gang.

It's an operation that has been underway for several months in Augusta.Shootings and violent crimes are on the rise, and District Attorney Natalie Paine told us gangs have become more organized this year– but  law enforcement is stepping up its game. 

U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine is spear-heading the crack down, along with the FBI, GBI, Richmond County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Office.

Criminals have been indicted, and Paine said this could not have been possible without those federal resources: "When Bobby Christine was appointed by the president to be the attorney here, within days we were talking. He immediately sprung into action. I was blown away by the support he was giving. He was committed to giving resources to us and that the violent crime was being addressed in our area." 

We asked what these charges could be related to, but they are keeping it all under wraps until 2PM. 

Posted in Augusta