46 violent gang members arrested in Fla. after national investigation
"Research revealed a structured organization involved in murder, attempted murder, robbery, arson, firearms trafficking as well as witness intimidation and other serious offenses," Sheriff Mike Williams said
By Dan Scanlan
The Florida Times-Union
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Forty-six members of a subset of the violent national Bloods gang are off the streets following a multi-agency investigation centered in Jacksonville, but reaching as far as California, according to Sheriff Mike Williams.
The sheriff called the Rolling 20's gang a highly organized group responsible for a wide range of violent crimes during a Friday morning news conference.
"The entire investigation resulted in 46 defendants associated with the Rolling 20's being arrested on felony charges ranging from murder to cocaine sales, and lengthy prison sentences that they will see in the future," Williams said. "In addition, the following firearms and drugs were seized during this investigation: 35 firearms, over 396 grams of powdered cocaine, 42 grams of crack cocaine, 72 grams of marijuana, 31 grams of Molly, over 6.5 grams of heroin and 39.2 grams of Ecstacy."
Joining Friday's news conference were Mayor Lenny Curry, State Attorney Melissa Nelson and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent-in-Charge John Wester. Nelson called the investigation "on point and the execution precise," while the mayor said this means that "we are still coming after you."
The investigation was sparked by the March 2016 hit on 62-year-old Michael Felton Wright, who was to testify in a case against 28-year-old Quintae Davouris Hudson, Williams said. As that homicide investigation continued, detectives learned Hudson had ties with a the Rolling 20's gang, which was responsible for Wright's murder.
"The research revealed a structured organization involved in murder, attempted murder, robbery, arson, firearms trafficking as well as witness intimidation and other serious offenses dating all the way back to May 2015," Williams said. "Throughout the investigation it became clear that the Rolling 20's gang was more organized than the neighborhood-based street culture rap association-type gangs we typically see here in Jacksonville. In fact, the hierarchy branched outside of Jacksonville to other cities and states."
The Sheriff's Office's gang and violent crime units worked with state and federal agencies to track other cases that involved the Rolling 20's and arrested 22 members, Williams said. But even with the core members behind bars in Jacksonville, others were attempting to "fill the vacuum of leadership that was now open."
"The Rolling 20's had ties that went up and down the East Coast. Cities like Augusta and Richmond, Baltimore and some in California were also involved," Williams said. "These ties outside the Jacksonville area and the internal power struggle within the gang led JSO to leverage key partnerships with ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office for a second phase of the joint investigation."
More arrest warrants were issued Oct. 22 resulting in more captures, Williams said.
Many of those arrested face major charges, identified by police with their nicknames on the posters displayed at the news briefing.
Hercules "Bags" Bowers and his wife, Shersonya "Huricane" Bowers, were both charged with conspiracy to commit murder on top of her murder charge, the Sheriff's Office said. Other's charged with murder include Davis "Fierce" Goodman, Aaron "Block" Gregory, Hason "Shooter" Smiley, Arsenio "Red Rum" James and Hudson, the Sheriff's Office said.
Some have already been sentenced, most to state prison. The longest term was Hudson's life sentence for murder, witness tampering and directing gang activities, the last apropos since his nickname was "Boss," police said. James' second-degree murder conviction netted him a 35-year sentence, police said. There was a 16-year term for Kyrell "Rell" Davis for armed burglary; nine years for Breontay "Indiana Boy" Firrie McMillion for armed burglary; and Marcus "Boom" Twine's 9-year term for robbery, burglary and fleeing police, the Sheriff's Office said. Ten-year state terms were handed down to Brandon "Ox" Houston for arson and burglary convictions, as well as Oran "O" Sherrer Jr.'s armed robbery conviction, police said.
Nelson "Glizzie" Hill got a 4-year state term for possession of a gun by a convicted felon, while Anthony "Dough Boy" Gregory received a 5-year term for aggravated assault, robbery and fleeing police and Anthony "Goat" Whitehead was imprisoned for three years for armed burglary with assault, police said. Camry "Neptune" May was sentenced to 10 years in a state prison in Georgia for aggravated assault and fleeing police, while Dwayne "Weezy" Bell received a 250-day local jail sentence for sale of cocaine, the Sheriff's Office said.
The sheriff said there are at least 51 street gangs operating in the city, but this particular one is "dismantled."
Asked if the Sheriff's Office is concerned about remaining gang members retaliating, Williams said the agency is ready.
Five other gang members are still being sought on warrants: Dashawn "Whop" Rose for aiding and abetting distribution of controlled substances and possession of a firearm for drug trafficking; Ronald Coleman for sale of cocaine; Jacoby "L'il Colby" Hartley for distribution of controlled substances; plus Jamie "Savage" Williams and Humphrey Benton, both for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the Sheriff's Office said.
LIVE - Sheriff Mike Williams talks about a long term investigation - Rolling 20’sPosted by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Friday, November 2, 2018