Suspected gang leader off the streets - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Suspected gang leader off the streets

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Derick Demetrius Johnson (Source: Dougherty Co. Jail) Derick Demetrius Johnson (Source: Dougherty Co. Jail)

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Wednesday night, agents with the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit and the GBI took down a man they say is one of the top members of the Black Gangsta Disciples. He is now behind bars charged with trafficking cocaine.

It's the latest in a series of arrests of members of the gang, and the drug commander tells us it won't be the last.  

"They have really put a serious dent in the hierarchy of the organization and this is another arrest involving that leadership," said Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Commander Maj. Bill Berry.

In an operation that spanned more than a year, undercover agents with the GBI were able to buy a little more than 50 grams of powder cocaine from 31-year-old Derick Demetrius Johnson.

Agents arrested him in a parking lot in the 1300 block of East Broad Avenue. "He's in that upper echelon, the hierarchy of it," Berry said.

A hierarchy of that is being dismantled. 33-year-old Reginald Richardson was beaten to death during an initiation into the Black Gangsta Disciples. Since then, six members have been arrested for his murder, including the leader of the gang.

"Once the murder, or initiation went so far, went too far and the guy died, we stepped it up and pursued it hot and heavy," Berry said.

It's a move law enforcement hopes to make again and again until the gang no longer exists.  "Cut the head off and the snake will die and that's kind of what we've been targeting and what really brought it to light is the initiation that went bad, that drew the attention to, specifically this gang, because there's nothing that outweighs a murder."

Berry says Johnson was a mid level drug dealer with the ability to purchase and sell large amounts of drugs. He estimates the street value of the cocaine undercover agents bought at about $5,000.

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