Twenty-three Ghost Face Gangsters have been indicted on a variety of federal charges, including murder, robbery, kidnapping, racketeering and drug distribution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.
“The Ghost Face Gangsters gang is very violent and their members will not hesitate to shoot at anyone,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said. “Members have allegedly committed drug trafficking crimes inside and outside of prisons to make money, while committing violent crimes against each other, innocent citizens, and police officers.”
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Federal, state and local investigators discussed the arrests at a news conference at Cobb County police headquarters. The arrests include three leaders of the prison-based gang, which has been in Georgia since starting in the Cobb jail in 2000, the U.S. Attorney said. The gang has been under investigation in Georgia since the early 2000s.
“We are partnering with local and state law enforcement agencies, including the Georgia Department of Corrections, to stop this criminal enterprise,” Pak said. “If convicted, the defendants will be removed to federal facilities all across the United States.”
The ages of those indicted range from 24 to 59 and they are from Cobb, Gwinnett, Hall, Carroll, Spalding, Douglas, Rockdale and Pickens counties, along with Tennessee and Ohio.
Among the gang leaders arrested are Jeffrey Alan Bourassa, also known as “J.B.,” “Babyface,” and “Kid.” Bourassa, 35, is also charged with aiding and abetting another person by kidnapping and maiming a fellow gang member; and David Gene Powell, 40, also known as “Davo,” charged with aiding and abetting another person by kidnapping and assaulting a fellow gang member.
Beginning in 2000, the defendants named in the racketeering influenced corrupt organization (RICO) conspiracy charge allegedly plotted to commit murders, kidnapping, firearm crimes, drug trafficking, assault, witness tampering, wire fraud and other crimes as part of the Ghost Face criminal enterprise, investigators said. Other members and associates are charged in a drug conspiracy, and with separate counts of violent crimes in aid of racketeering, including carjacking, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault with serious bodily injury and maiming.
Ghost Face Gangsters are organized into different leadership positions, including the founding “pillars.” Other leaders include those having a “seat at the table,” “First Lady,” state-wide positions consisting of security, violator, structure board, education coordinator, living coordinator, communications coordinator, investigator, enforcement coordinator, recruiter, planning and strategy, treasurer, legal coordinator, meeting coordinator and event coordinator, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Members within the prisons used contraband cell phones to continue their drug sales both within and outside the prison, and used the phones to communicate regularly with other gang members.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, there are at least 100 white supremacist prison gangs operating in the U.S., and Georgia is home to at least three, including the Ghost Face Gangsters. The group originated in California in the 1970s, according to the League.
The same gang has also been linked to high-profile cases, including the June shooting deaths of two prison guards in Putnam County.
“An attack on our law enforcement officers is an attack on all of us and can never be tolerated,” Attorney General Sessions said in an emailed statement. “Law enforcement officers are the thin blue line standing between law abiding people and the violent gangs and criminals who peddle poison to our young people, terrorize our communities, and attempt to impose a false sovereignty over our neighborhoods.”
Twenty of the gang members are already in local or state custody, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.