A 220-count indictment released this week in Fulton County names 26 defendants and alleges most of them are part of a gang involved in the home invasions and burglaries of celebrity and non-celebrity homes in metro Atlanta over the past year.
Singer Mariah Carey and ”Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Marlo Hampton were two of the victims.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case indictment alleges that members of the Drug Rich gang, which started to emerge in the Stone Mountain, Lithonia and Tucker areas of DeKalb County in 2016, have committed or attempted to commit numerous crimes since December 2017.
Most of the defendants face multiple counts of violation of the street gang terrorism and prevention act, with some facing a slew of other charges: attempted murder, home invasion, kidnapping, burglary, aggravated assault, theft by receiving, violation of Georgia Controlled Substances Act, terroristic threats, possession of illegal weapons and false imprisonment.
Sandy Springs police launched an investigation into the home invasions in October 2021. Since then, the department said it has been able to tie at least 13 cases to the Drug Rich gang.
The investigation uncovered that Jeremy Caldwell, who was arrested last week in Miami, Florida, was a leader and responsible for the burglary and home invasion business of the gang, according to arrest warrants. Caldwell is facing 82 charges.
The warrants allege that gang members find a target and scout the property before going in and taking items, before selling them for a profit.
Investigators believe Caldwell’s partner, Azhanee Scott, does the investigating into possible victims based on affluence and a social media presence. Since Scott is not a felon, authorities believe firearms for the burglaries and home invasions are purchased through her, according to the warrants.
According to the indictment, the burglaries began with two separate ones Dec. 11, 2017, at a home on Spalding Drive and a home on Stratford Court allegedly committed by Zyire Robinson, who was indicted on 48 charges. On June 20, 2018, there was an armed robbery of a vehicle allegedly committed by Contaiovus Howard, who is facing 72 charges.
It wasn’t until September 2021 that the gang began to carry out more alleged crimes, police said.
According to the indictments, there was a burglary at a home on Bismark Road on Sept. 18, an attempted burglary at a home on Forest Hill Drive on Sept. 26, and then a home invasion, burglary and attempted kidnapping on Northside Drive on Oct. 1.
Many of the charges, 65 of 220, in the indictment stem from that Oct. 1, 2021 incident.
According to arrest warrants, a group of eight alleged gang members, led by Caldwell, entered the home that day and took a 16-year-old girl out of the shower, took her and her mom into a room together and threatened to harm the girl if the mother didn’t give them valuables. Several items, including two vehicles, were stolen.
Caldwell, Robinson, Scott, Howard, Montavious Goodwin, Devin Fyfe, Robert Gunter, Darryl Johnson, Jude Devage Morgan and Norman Thompson are facing charges in relation to the Northside Drive incident.
In the past year, alleged gang members have targeted at least six celebrity and non-celebrity homes, including the residence of a high-profile Instagram influencer March 27 and a home on Parkside Place that ended with a man being shot July 4. Five defendants, including Caldwell, are facing attempted murder charges in the shooting.
Police said Caldwell, Kenzel Walker, Terryion Anderson-Bobo and Jaylen Huff went into Carey’s Sandy Springs home June 27 between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., taking thousands of dollars in jewelry, high-end clothing and electronics. Anderson-Bobo and Huff were also arrested in Miami last week.
Huff is also facing charges in the home invasion and burglary attempt at Hampton’s home July 1. Along with Jahi Jahi Brown, Huff entered Hampton’s home with guns while her family was inside before being scared off, according to arrest warrants.
In the indictment, prosecutors are using song lyrics from two music videos posted on YouTube as evidence of gang activity. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office is also using lyrics as evidence of gang activity in a wide-ranging RICO case involving rappers Young Thug and Gunna.
About the Author
Credit: Channel 2 Action News