A federal jury in Atlanta has convicted five members of the Gangster Disciples street gang, including the highest-ranking member in Georgia and a now-disgraced ex-DeKalb County police officer.
Alonzo Walton, 51, of Atlanta, was known as the “governor,” the top leader in Georgia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Kevin Clayton, 47, of Stone Mountain, was the state’s “chief enforcer,” responsible for violently maintaining discipline. Donald Glass, 31, of Decatur, led the “hate committee,” responsible for carrying out shootings, robberies and murders, the news release said. Jurors also convicted Antarious Caldwell, 25, of Ellenwood, finding that he took part in murders and robberies.
Former DeKalb County Police Department officer Vancito Gumbs, 27, is among the defendants. He once claimed to be a “hit-man” for the gang, acting as a double agent, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Even while Gumbs wore the badge, he was giving the Gangster Disciples guns and information, the office said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on Gumbs’ claims of being a gang hit-man. His lawyer has previously said Gumbs lied about that to impress a woman. The DeKalb County Police Department worked with the feds on the case.
All five defendants were convicted of racketeering conspiracy involving murder. Another co-defendant, Perry Green, was found not guilty after his lawyer, Amanda Clark Palmer, argued he wasn’t a member of the gang and hadn’t taken any part in its crimes.
Gumbs is set to be sentenced on Aug. 27. His convicted co-defendants are awaiting sentencing dates.
Victims’ names weren’t released, and many of the documents in the case remain sealed. Fifteen defendants are awaiting trial; 18 have pleaded guilty.
“It should give the community comfort to know that justice has been done and that each defendant faces a long prison sentence in a federal facility,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.
The case dates back to 2016, when dozens of members were arrested. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said evidence shows the defendants and fellow gang members participated in murder, attempted murder, robbery, bank and wire fraud, drug trafficking and extortion. Jurors heard evidence indicating gang members shot 24 people shot, 12 of whom died. One victim was shot and left to die in front of a 4-year-old, prosecutors say. Among the survivors was a man who, feds said, got shot more than a dozen times because he didn’t want to help with a gang-sponsored community clean-up event.
DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston praised federal authorities for their work on the case, adding, “We hope these convictions, along with the previous Gangster Disciple convictions in our local jurisdiction, send a strong and clear message that those who choose to engage in violent behavior will pay a price.”
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