Albany gang indictment unsealed -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany gang indictment unsealed

Albany and Dougherty County Law enforcers continue to hunt for wanted Crips gang members.

Dozens of local, state, and federal officers started a roundup Friday.

The indictment of 55 gang members was unsealed Monday.

The suspected Crips gangsters are charged with a wide range of crimes from burglary to rape to armed robbery.

The 20 page indictment tracks a pattern of crimes in Albany from 2002 to 2011. It lists 40 felonies, most of them violent, that prosecutors say Crips gang members were responsible for, under direction of the gang.

11 Albany men indicted as Crips gang members were arrested in the weekends first wave of the gang crackdown, called Operation Shock. Many of these men in the Grand Jury indictment are identified as supervisors of the gang. More than half of the men listed in the indictment were already in jail or prison. But officers say the roundup is not complete.

Sheriff Kevin Sproul said "We are still looking for approximately 10 subjects."

All of the 55 men in the gang indictment are being charged with racketeering, saying all the crimes by gang members supported the gang and therefore each gang member is responsible.

Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards said "Most people think about racketeering, they think about the Mafia. But effectively gangs are little mafias. "

And the investigation says that the don or the head of this Crips gang is Germaine Stephens, known as "Teddy Bear" on the streets. Stephens is currently in prison for probation violations and fighting in the jail. He is not scheduled to be released until May 2015.

The indictment lists 40 crimes like the October 31, 2007 robbery of the Hardees in East Albany by 3 of the gang members.   And the September 2, 2010 armed robbery of the Smith Super Value store by three other indicted gang members. The D.A. describes the Crips as an active crime gang, but says the roundup has had immediate effect.

Edwards said "I literally have driven by places that I know have been known gang hangouts. And they are not hanging out. That's the way it should be."

The Albany Police Gang Unit has listed these men as their "most wanted", all listed in this indictment and still being sought. And law enforcement says Operation Shock is still on going.

The now unsealed indictment lists 29 counts for the 55 men, including charging them all with 2 counts of racketeering and at least two counts of street gang terrorism.

All 55 men listed in the indictment, if convicted, would face 25 years in prison in addition to other crimes they have been charged with. The District Attorney says some of the indicted Crips could face life in prison if convicted of all the charges against them.

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