Gang members indicted on federal charges related to 2017 bartow murder news mdjonline.com electricity song billy elliot

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“Gangs and criminal activity does not stop at jurisdictional lines. Criminals such as these will be identified and taken off the streets because of professional law enforcement agencies partnering together to combat gang activity,” Dennard said.

“It appears in this case that 135 Pirus gang members are willing to kill or violently assault someone for the smallest perceived sign of disrespect,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI led Safe Streets Gang Task Force, along with its local partners, will continue to devote significant resources to the task of dismantling violent gangs that do so much harm to our communities.”

The news release stated that, according to Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: The 135 Pirus gang originated in Compton, California, and expanded into the Northern District of Georgia, dividing itself into a Southside/Atlanta group, a Northside/North group, and a Northwest Georgia group.

Leaders of the gang in Georgia maintain ties with the California gang leadership. The 135 Pirus are governed by a set of rules, codes, laws, and oaths, which, among other things, call for death of any gang member who cooperates with law enforcement.

To become a 135 Pirus member, a recruit, or a “550,” must be sponsored by an existing gang member. A potential new member is “jumped in” or physically beaten for 35 seconds by gang members. The gang also refers to this initiation as being “put on the hood.”

All 135 Pirus members are required to “put in work,” meaning that they must engage in acts of criminal activity such as drug dealing and violence when ordered to do so by members of gang leadership. Members allegedly committed acts of violence, including murder, engaged in drug trafficking and other money making criminal conduct, to be promoted and maintain standing within the structure of the gang.

In the early morning hours of May 13, 2017, an argument occurred outside a Brookhaven nightclub. When a California-based high-ranking 135 Pirus gang member was supposedly disrespected, Maurice Antonio Kent allegedly fired multiple rounds into a crowd of people outside the club, wounding a gang member from another gang and a security guard. Kent was arrested by the Brookhaven Police Department at the scene. Soon thereafter, 135 Pirus gang members came to believe that the 17-year-old, a fellow 135 Pirus gang member, was talking to the police about the shooting.

On June 3, 2017, Christopher Nwanjoku, Jamel Dupree Hughes, Jennifer Foutz, and Cedric Sams Jr. allegedly devised a plan to lure the 17-year-old to Bartow County and then murder him. The 17-year-old’s body was later discovered lying on the side of a rural road in Bartow.

On June 7, 2017, Hughes and Foutz encountered a member of another gang at a gas station in Acworth. After words were exchanged, Hughes allegedly exited the passenger side of Foutz’s vehicle and shot the member of the other gang multiple times.

However, undercover police officers were at the gas station on an unrelated case and observed the shooting. During a short police pursuit, Hughes allegedly tossed the gun out of the car window. The gun was recovered and Hughes and Foutz were stopped and arrested.

• Maurice Antonio Kent, a.k.a. “Savage Duze,” 27, of Cartersville, a leader of the 135 Pirus group based in Cartersville, is charged with two counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering, Discharge of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, all related to the nightclub shooting.

• Cedric Sams Jr., a.k.a. “Awall,” 25, of Cartersville, a member of Northwest Georgia 135 Pirus group, is charged with Murder in Aid of Racketeering and Use of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence Resulting in Death, for the 17-year-old’s murder.

• Jennifer Foutz, a.k.a. “Rose,” 25, of Acworth, the “First Lady” of the Northwest Georgia 135 Pirus group, is charged with Murder in Aid of Racketeering, Use of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence Resulting in Death, Attempted Murder in Aid of Racketeering, and Discharge of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, relating to the 17-year-old’s murder and the gas station shooting.

• Christopher Nwanjoku, a.k.a. “Problem,” 25, of Lawrenceville, a leader of the Northside 135 Pirus group based in Gwinnett County, is charged with Murder in Aid of Racketeering and Use of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence Resulting in Death, for his role in the 17-year-old’s murder.