Federal prosecutors announced the sentencing of the last defendant in a massive Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) prosecution of alleged members of the Gangster Disciples gang.
Lewis Mobley, 45, of Atlanta, who prosecutors allege was an enforcer for the gang, was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being found guilty of RICO conspiracy, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and using a firearm during the attempted murder.
Four Marietta men are among the 38 alleged gang members that have been sentenced in recent years.
Vertuies Wall, 45, of Marietta, was ID'd by prosecutors as the leader of the Macon branch of the Gangster Disciples. He was found guilty of RICO conspiracy and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Mangwiro Sadiki-Yisrael, 48, of Marietta, held different positions including gang "governor” of Georgia, according to prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy and was sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $400,000 in restitution to his fraud victims.
Frederick Johnson, 44, of Marietta, who prosecutors say was a Gangster Disciples member who sold drugs, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy.
Michael Drummond, 54, of Marietta, was a Gangster Disciples member who engaged in fraud for the gang, prosecutors said. Drummond pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy, was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $3,677 in restitution to victims.
The Gangster Disciples is a nationwide gang founded in Chicago roughly 50 years ago. Over the years the gang was engaged in drug trafficking, robbery, carjacking, extortion, wire fraud, credit card fraud, insurance fraud and bank fraud, among other things, according to prosecutors. The gang is highly structured and hierarchical, uses violence to strictly enforce rules and hosts regular members-only activities.
“For decades, the Gangster Disciples have destroyed communities all across the United States. The gang’s criminal activity in Atlanta included the killing of innocent people, brazen shootings, and prolific drug-trafficking,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine in a press release. “These horrific acts and the victims lost and injured will not soon be forgotten. Our community remains united and our law enforcement partners are committed to making sure this type of crippling criminal activity is met with our best investigative and prosecutorial effort. We understand that the sentences issued in this case will not mend the hearts of those who lost loved ones to the crimes of the Gangster Disciples, but we do believe they will make our community safer.”
At trial, federal prosecutors accused the gang of being responsible for 25 shootings from 2011 to 2015, including eight murders, multiple robberies, extortion of rap artists, fraud losses of more than $450,000, and trafficking of large amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription drugs and marijuana. The government seized 33 guns from the gang.
Convicted defendants include "the highest ranks" of the gang's leaders from Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and California.
The cases were investigated by the FBI, U.S. Marshals, ATF, Postal Inspection Services, IRS, federal Bureau of Prisons, Atlanta Police, Marietta Police, Fulton County Sheriff's Office, Clayton County Police, DeKalb County District Attorney's Office, DeKalb Police, Gwinnett Police and other state agencies.
“The convictions of Lewis Mobley and other defendants sends a resounding message to gang members around the country that gang activity will not be tolerated in Atlanta,” said Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant, in the release. “The Atlanta Police Department is proud of the effort put forth by our investigators to bring these criminals to justice. The sentencing of these gang members proves the effectiveness of our law enforcement partnerships work.”
The cases were prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
“The Gangster Disciples have wreaked havoc in our neighborhoods for far too long with the drug trafficking, thefts, violent assaults and murders they have committed,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Mobley is the last of many members of the ruthless gang to be sentenced as a part of this investigation by the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force and its state and local partners. We are all committed to dismantling these organized and violent criminal enterprises in order to make Atlanta and all of our communities safer for our citizens.”