Top row, from left: Caojo Steward, Jeron George. Bottom row: William Rivers, Demetrius Lewis, Montrese Goodwin
Photo: Channel 2 Action News
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

DEA: 5 gang members arrested after trying to rob drug agent, prompting shootout

Nearly a month after gunfire erupted in a northwest Atlanta neighborhood during an undercover drug operation, five arrests have been made.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced that five alleged gang members were arrested following the Oct. 8 gunfight, Channel 2 Action News reported. No agents or bystanders were injured, but two of the suspects were wounded.

The incident happened at an apartment complex on Hollywood Road near Brooks Avenue, previously reported. An informant and undercover agent had set up an afternoon drug purchase to buy a kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of powdered and crack cocaine, Channel 2 reported.

RELATED: Undercover officers fire shots after group attempts to rob drug agent, feds say

However, the alleged drug dealers tried to rob them, prompting the gun battle, the DEA previously said. Several other agents rushed in to protect the other two.

“It’s shocking to me that in broad daylight in the middle of a highly populated apartment complex, (the suspects showed an) indiscriminate lack of concern for anyone involved and just resort(ed) to this level of violence,” Robert Murphy, DEA special agent in charge in Atlanta, told the news station.

The suspects arrested were Caojo Steward, Jeron George, William Rivers, Demetrius Lewis and Montrese Goodwin.

Murphy added that agents seized the cocaine and “a lot of high-powered weapons” from the scene, saying the incident was “all over $18,000.”

Chad W. Cook, DEA assistant special agent in charge in Atlanta, previously wouldn’t disclose the type of narcotics involved in the investigation, but he did hint that fentanyl might have been involved.

“As a general rule, a lot of the drugs we seize now, almost all of them have fentanyl in them,” he said. “A lot of the traffickers are mixing that in. I can’t be specific in this case because I don’t have the analysis to know, but that’s a trend we are seeing throughout the United States.”

RELATED: What is fentanyl? 10 things to know about the potentially deadly drug

GBI agents responded to the scene of a DEA operation in northwest Atlanta after an officer-involved shooting last month.

The suspects are accused of participating in an offshoot of the Crips gang, Channel 2 reported. The DEA also said it’s working to arrest eight other alleged gang members, whose names were not released.

The GBI was called in to investigate the incident as an officer-involved shooting. It was the 67th such investigation opened in 2019. As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been 73 officer-involved shooting investigations opened by the GBI.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don't involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI's tally.

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