87 locals charged in biggest gang bust in state history
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - “A message to our gangbangers ... our message is clear, our promise is true. If you feel that you must continue engage in criminal activity in Richmond County, it’s only a matter of time before your clock strikes midnight.”
That was a strong message from Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree standing alongside Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday to announce Georgia’s biggest gang bust in history.
Eighty-seven people are facing charges in Richmond County as a result.
In addition to the governor and the sheriff, Mayor Hardie Davis, state Sen. Harold Jones, most Augusta commissioners, and District Attorney Jared Williams were all on hand for the announcement Friday. They say bringing together every resource in our community is what will end gang violence.
Authorities say 87 people were indicted after single largest gang bust in Georgia’s history called Operation Kibosh.
“This current prosecution reaffirms and continues our commitment to remove dangerous criminal organizations off the streets of Augusta,” said Roundtree said. “We want the citizens of Richmond County to know that we will never relent as we continue to strive to make Augusta one of the safest cities in the state of Georgia.”
Police say 77 of them are a part of the Ghostface Gangsters street gang. It’s one of the fastest growing gangs in the country and a group mostly made up of white supremacists. The crimes range from attempted murder, drug trafficking, to aggravated assault to an officer.
“This was happening in literally every corner of our state,” said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.
Sixty-six of those 87 have been arrested and police are still looking for 21 more.
“I don’t think that people need convincing that we are facing a gang and violent crime crisis in our state,” said Kemp.
Kemp and Roundtree both sharing a similar message that we’ve all heard, the younger generation is the focus.
“These resources come from the state, from the local level, the school board level all of these have to come into play. This is not just a law enforcement issue alone,” said Roundtree.
And our local leaders say they will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent to stop this violence.
“For any gangster, trafficker or killer that thought that applied to you. You’re going to learn today,” said Williams, the district attorney.
This is the seventh year the sheriff’s office has focused on RICO cases like this. RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. This investigation has been going on for two and half years and involved local police on both sides of the river along with the GBI, FBI and US Marshals.
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