Federal and state agents have arrested 23 members and associates of the Ghostface Gangsters prison gang, which originated in the Cobb County, Georgia jail in 2000, and has since spread through Georgia jails, prisons, and beyond. A federal grand jury returned a 21-count indictment on Feb. 8, 2018, which was recently unsealed. The crimes alleged in the indictment range from wire fraud to murder.
“An attack on our law enforcement officers is an attack on all of us and can never be tolerated,” said Attorney General Sessions. “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. President Trump has ordered us to improve the safety of our law enforcement officers, and at the Department of Justice, we are carrying out that order. I want to thank everyone who helped make today’s arrests possible, including ATF and the FBI, as well as more than a dozen state and local law enforcement agencies across Georgia and Alabama. Today’s arrests will help us achieve justice for the officers who have sacrificed so much and to follow President Trump’s order to back the men and women in blue.”
“The Ghostface Gangsters gang is very violent and their members will not hesitate to shoot at anyone,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “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. We are partnering with local and state law enforcement agencies, including the Georgia Department of Corrections, to stop this criminal enterprise. If convicted, the defendants will be removed to federal facilities all across the United States.”
“As a result of this operation, ATF has disrupted a dangerous and pervasive threat to the local community,” said ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge John Schmidt. “The Ghostface Gangsters gang flourished through recruitment, intimidation, and perpetration of heinous crimes, and it is critical that law enforcement agencies take aggressive actions against these criminals. This investigation is an example of ATF remaining on the frontline of preventing violent crime through excellent cooperation with our law enforcement partners.”
“The recent federal indictments of this dangerous gang demonstrates how effective and important interagency collaboration is between federal, state, and local partners, and also demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement entities at every level to keep the communities across this nation as safe as possible,” said Chief Michael Register, Cobb County Police Department.
“As part of our commitment to ridding our prisons of criminal activity, we maintain a robust plan for identifying and managing those participating in gang activity,” said Corrections Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier. “The use of contraband cell phones by these individuals as a tool to carry out their crimes, is a fight we continue to battle. We appreciate the support and assistance of our law enforcement partners on every level, in our efforts to see that justice is being served on those who pose a threat to the safety of the public and the operations of our facilities.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: Beginning in the year 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 in furtherance of the Ghostface Gangsters criminal enterprise. 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.
Ghostface Gangsters are organized into different positions of leadership, including the founding pillars, 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.
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 one-on-one and even conducted video conferences with multiple members about decisions to be made by the gang.
Since the early 2000’s, Ghostface Gangsters and their associates have trafficked methamphetamine, marijuana and illegal pills, both inside and outside prisons throughout Georgia. Some of the defendants in this case have committed multiple violent acts to include:
On July 5, 2016, defendant Victor Manuel Dejesus allegedly violently carjacked a citizen using a firearm and threatened to kill her. He took the car, then picked up defendant Christopher Marlow, and together they fled from a Cobb County Deputy Sheriff. Dejesus shot at the deputy from inside the car and later threw the gun out the window. The gun was later turned over to police after a citizen found it lying on the side of the road.
- On December 2, 2016, defendant Cody Ryan Todd, upon receiving an order from defendant David Gene Powell, allegedly joined other GFG members to kidnap one of their own members for violating gang rules. Todd and the other members of the GFG beat the victim badly, including trying to pull out his teeth with pliers. They videotaped the incident, which showed the victim lying down and pleading for help because he could not breathe.
- In December of 2016, defendants Christopher Jarman Davis and Jonathan Stubbs, under the orders of defendant Jeffrey Alan Bourassa, allegedly kidnapped another GFG member, held him at gunpoint and cut off his tattoo with a knife.
- On March 8, 2017, defendant William J. Goodman allegedly stabbed another GFG member in the neck and back for violating gang rules, causing severe blood loss, serious bodily injury, and a collapsed lung.
- On October 29, 2016, defendant Richard B. Sosebee shot a man in the eye during a drug deal, causing him to lose his eye.
- On December 11, 2017, defendant Kevin Scott Sosebee was a passenger in a car pulled over in a traffic stop. The Cobb County Police officer who pulled the car over was alone. Before the officer could exit his car, Sosebee allegedly shot at him several times and then fled from the officer.
The RICO conspiracy charge names the following defendants:
- Jeffrey Alan Bourassa, a/k/a “J.B.,” “Babyface,” and “Kid,” 35, of Cobb County, Georgia, is a founding pillar of GFG. Bourassa is also charged with aiding and abetting another person by kidnapping and maiming a fellow GFG member;
- Kevin Scott Sosebee, a/k/a “Sosa,” 27, of Cobb County, Georgia, is also charged with the attempted murder of a Cobb County Police Officer;
- David Gene Powell, a/k/a “Davo,” of Cobb County, Georgia, 40, is a founding pillar of GFG. He is also charged with aiding and abetting another person by kidnapping and assaulting a fellow GFG member;
- Victor Manuel Dejesus, a/k/a “VG Vic,” 36, of Gwinnett County, Georgia. Dejesus is also charged with carjacking, attempted murder of a Cobb County deputy sheriff, and using a firearm during a crime of violence;
- Richard Brian Sosebee, a/k/a “Dirty,” 42, of Hall County, Georgia, is also charged with attempted murder and other firearms charges;
- Jonathan Stubbs, 29, of Hamilton County, Tennessee, is also charged with aiding and abetting one other by kidnapping and maiming a fellow GFG member;
- Cody Ryan Todd, 28, of Carroll County, Georgia. He is also charged with aiding and abetting another person by kidnapping and assaulting a fellow GFG member;
- Toby James Ogletree, 42, of Spalding County, Georgia;
- Cheri Lea Rau, 59, of Cobb County, Georgia.
The following defendants are also named in the drug conspiracy:
- Joseph M. Propps, a/k/a “JP,” 39, of Cobb County, Georgia;
- Marc Avon Lefevre, Jr, a/k/a “Ghost,” 32, of Cobb County, Georgia;
- Christopher Lasher, a/k/a/ “Retta,” 35, of Marietta, Georgia;
- Genevieve Waits, 35, of Cleveland, Ohio;
- Christopher Steven Jones, a/k/a “Red,” 34, of Cherokee County, Georgia;
- Samantha Miller, 26, of Cobb County, Georgia;
- Hailey Danielle Sizemore, 27, of Douglas County, Georgia;
- Kayli Brewer, 26, of Cobb County, Georgia;
- Brittany Nicole Jones, 30, of Rockdale County, Georgia;
- David Gene Powell, a/k/a “Davo;”
- Jeffrey Alan Bourassa, a/k/a “J.B.,” “Babyface;”
- Cheri Lea Rau; and
- Toby James Ogletree.
Additional defendants and their charges are as follows:
- Christopher Marlow a/k/a “Loko,” 28, of Cobb County, Georgia, is charged with attempted murder of the Cobb County deputy sheriff and firearm charge.
- Christopher Jarman Davis, 27, of Walker County, Georgia, along with Jonathan Stubbs and Jeffrey Bourassa, is charged with aiding and abetting one other by kidnapping and maiming a fellow GFG member.
- William J. Goodman, aka “JBeenlivin’good” and “JGood,” 24, of Paulding County, Georgia, is charged with attempted murder of a fellow GFG member.
- Kelly Ray Shiflett, 30, of Floyd County, Georgia, is charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm; and
- Randall Arthur Lee Chumley, 36, of Pickens County, Georgia, is charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and other drug and firearm charges.
Several defendants in the indictment were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Walter E. Johnson. Twenty gang members were already in custody on state or local charges and will be arraigned in the next few days. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges, and that the defendants are presumed innocent of the charges. It will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.