13 indicted in federal gang crackdown between Atlanta, Athens

The multi-agency Safe Streets Gang Task Force set up a huge staging area to execute multiple search warrants around Athens the same day federal indictments were unsealed against 13 defendants.

Credit: Athens-Clarke County Police Department

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The multi-agency Safe Streets Gang Task Force set up a huge staging area to execute multiple search warrants around Athens the same day federal indictments were unsealed against 13 defendants.

Credit: Athens-Clarke County Police Department

7-month investigation recovered $1M cash, 60 guns and a land mine

In a major anti-gang operation Thursday in Athens, a multi-agency task force executed multiple search warrants and recovered drugs, guns and money on the same day 13 people were federally indicted.

Dubbed “Operation Tourniquet,” Thursday’s action was the culmination of seven months of investigation into the 1831 Piru street gang, Athens-Clarke County police Chief Cleveland Spruill Sr. said during a news conference. Though the operation centered around Athens, the gang and some of those indicted have ties to metro Atlanta.

According to a news release from the Department of Justice, charges against the 13 men and women indicted include possession and distribution of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine; possession of a machine gun; and possession of stolen guns, among others.

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Over the course of the seven-month investigation, authorities have seized 60 guns, more than $1 million in cash, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of illegal drugs and even a landmine, the DOJ said. The defendants all made their first appearances Thursday and their detention hearings will take place Monday.

Authorities could not provide additional details about their progress combatting the 1831 Piru gang as the investigation remains ongoing. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, the gang is just one of many organizations targeted by the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force.

“As far as this operation goes, it’s not a period, it’s a comma,” Spruill said Friday. “There’s likely more indictments and more arrests that will follow.”

A list of the suspects indicted Thursday:

  • Reginald Battle Sr., 46, of Statham, is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine;
  • Quintavious Clark, aka Tre Clark, 28, of Athens, is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and four counts of distribution of cocaine base and cocaine;
  • TaMichael Darden, aka T-Mike, 40, of Athens, is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, three counts of distribution of cocaine base and one count of distribution of cocaine;
  • Mohamed Elnour, 33, of Atlanta, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon;
  • Daquan Faust, aka Cocaine, 29, of Athens, is charged with one count each of illegal possession of a machine gun and one count of possession of a stolen firearm;
  • Marqueze Johnson, 25, of Athens, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine base;
  • Tevondous Kinney, 29, of Athens, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of distribution of cocaine base;
  • Corey Mitchell, aka Murda, 37, of Athens, is charged with one count each of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine;
  • Hendrex Nicely, aka Hen, 32, of Athens, is charged with two counts of distribution of heroin;
  • Danny Sims, aka Danny Boy, 57, of Hull, is charged with one count each of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base;
  • Miller Sutton, 64, of Winder, is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine;
  • Darren Thrasher, 45, of Athens, is charged with three counts of distribution of cocaine base;
  • Gregory Wade, Sr., 53, of Athens, is charged with one count of distribution of crack cocaine and cocaine.

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