D. A. launches gang sweep - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

D. A. launches gang sweep

January 27, 2005

Albany-- More than 80 officers raided 15 suspected gang member homes in Dougherty County Thursday morning. Prosecutors arrested four people, and confiscated drugs, guns, and stolen electronics.

Heavily armed S.W.A.T. officers wearing body armor burst into a north central Albany house.

Dougherty District Attorney Ken Hodges said, "The house behind me here at 800 West Residence is the headquarters for the C.M.E. Rattlers. It's one of the four known large gangs here in town."

This house is across the street from Albany High School, and neighbors say there is lots of traffic to the house everyday. Hodges said, "I know that when kids skip school, they will go over there. You can see there is a privacy fence behind the house. They tend to gather over there."

The students peered out the window, as the raid went down. Albany High Principal Gary Dorough said, "We went to a code red and locked the school down. Kids responded well, and we are back to normal operations."

Investigators confiscated guns, gang paraphernalia, and dozens of suspected stolen items. "We know these gang members are going out, stealing things, and selling them on the streets for next to nothing. We want to recover this stolen property," said Hodges. "It is my intent to put an end to the C.M.E. [Crime, Murder, and Extortion] Rattlers and to the other gangs here in Albany."

Tisha Jones and her five children live at the house, but deny it's a gang headquarters. "All my family stay here, my mama and my daddy side of the family stay in the neighborhood, and hang over here," Jones said.

Jones was not arrested, but several items in her home were confiscated.

Hodges wants people who know about gangs to give him information, to clean up their neighborhood. Albany's four largest gangs are said to be the Rattlers, the Bloods, the Crips, and the Black Gangster Disciples.

posted at 4:15PM by dave.miller@walb.com