Atlanta, Georgia - Federal and state agents arrested 23 leaders, members and associates of the Ghostface Gangsters prison gang pursuant to a 21-count indictment returned on February 8 and unsealed today. The crimes alleged in the indictment include conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, carjacking, four counts of attempted murder, kidnapping, maiming, assault, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and firearms offenses.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions; U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak for the Northern District of Georgia; Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Schmidt of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Chief Michael J. Register of the Cobb County Police Department and Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier of the Georgia Department of Corrections made the announcement.
“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 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 eliminated a dangerous and pervasive threat to the local community,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge 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 Register.
“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 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 the indictment, the Ghostface Gangsters is a whites-only prison gang formed in the year 2000 in the Cobb County, Georgia jail system. The gang has since expanded outside the prison system, and its membership is now estimated to include thousands of members throughout Georgia. The gang is highly organized into different positions of leadership, including, for example, the founding “Pillars” of the gang, those having a “seat at the table,” “First Lady” and numerous state-wide positions of governance. Members follow written gang literature, use violence to enforce gang rules, and facilitated the gang’s criminal activities from within prisons using contraband cell phones.
Nine Ghostface Gangsters are charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering in furtherance of the gang’s criminal enterprise, including two of the gang’s founding “Pillars.” According to the indictment, these gang members murdered two correctional officers and a Polk County detective and also committed multiple attempted murders, kidnapping, firearm crimes, drug trafficking, assaults, witness tampering, wire fraud and other crimes in furtherance of the gang’s activities. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act conspiracy charge names the following defendants:
- Jeffrey Alan Bourassa, aka J.B., Babyface and Kid, 35, of Cobb County, Georgia. Bourassa is alleged to be a founding Pillar of the Ghostface Gangsters. He is also charged with aiding and abetting another person by kidnapping and maiming a fellow Ghostface Gangsters member;
- David Gene Powell, aka Davo, 40, of Cobb County, Georgia. Powell is alleged to be a founding Pillar of the Ghostface Gangsters. He is also charged with aiding and abetting another person by kidnapping and assaulting a fellow Ghostface Gangsters member;
- Victor Manuel Dejesus, aka 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, aka Dirty, 42, of Hall County, Georgia. Sosebee is also charged with attempted murder and other firearms charges;
- Jonathan Stubbs, 29, of Hamilton County, Tennessee. Stubbs is also charged with aiding and abetting another by kidnapping and maiming a fellow Ghostface Gangsters member;
- Cody Ryan Todd, 28, of Carroll County, Georgia. Todd is also charged with aiding and abetting another person by kidnapping and assaulting a fellow Ghostface Gangsters member;
- Kevin Scott Sosebee, aka Sosa, 27, of Cobb County, Georgia, is also charged with the attempted murder of a Cobb County Police Officer;
- Toby James Ogletree, 42, of Spalding County, Georgia; and
- Cheri Lea Rau, 59, of Cobb County, Georgia.
Thirteen Ghostface Gangsters members and associates—including three founding “Pillars” and four female gang leaders who held the position of “First Lady”—are charged in a drug conspiracy involving distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and illegal pills. The following defendants are named in the drug conspiracy:
- Joseph M. Propps Jr., aka P, 39, of Cobb County, Georgia;
- Marc Avon Lefevre, aka Ghost, 32, of Cobb County, Georgia;
- Christopher Lasher, aka Retta, 35, of Marietta, Georgia;
- Genevieve Waits, 35, of Cleveland, Ohio;
- Christopher Steven Jones, aka 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;
- Rau; and
Other gang members are charged with separate counts of violent crimes in aid of racketeering, including carjacking; four attempted murders, including the attempted murders of a Deputy Sheriff and a Cobb County police officer; kidnapping; assault with serious bodily injury; and maiming. Specifically, the indictment alleges:
- On July 5, 2016, Dejesus violently carjacked a citizen using a firearm and threatened to kill her. He took the car, then picked up defendant Christopher Marlow, aka Loko, 28, of Cobb County, Georgia, 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;
- On Oct. 29, 2016, Richard Brian Sosebee shot a victim in the eye during a drug deal, causing the victim serious bodily injury;
- On Dec. 2, 2016, Todd, upon receiving an order from Powell, joined other Ghostface Gangster members to kidnap one of their own members for violating gang rules. Todd and the other members of the Ghostface Gangsters beat the victim badly and tried to pull out his teeth with pliers;
- In December 2016, Stubbs and Christopher Jarman Davis, 27, of Walker County, Georgia, under the orders of Bourassa, allegedly kidnapped another Ghostface Gangsters member, held the victim at gunpoint and cut off his tattoo with a knife, causing serious bodily harm;
- On March 8, 2017, William J. Goodman, aka JBeenlivin’good and JGood, 24, of Paulding County, Georgia, stabbed another Ghostface Gangsters member in the neck and back for violating gang rules, causing serious bodily injury;
- In December 2017, Kevin Scott Sosebee shot at a Cobb County police officer who pulled over a car in which Sosebee was a passenger.
In addition, 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.
Twenty-two indicted gang members are already in custody on state or local charges and will be arraigned in federal court in the next few days before U.S. Magistrate Judge Walter E. Johnson.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
This case is being investigated by the ATF; the Cobb County Police Department with the assistance of the FBI; the Georgia Department of Corrections; and the following federal, state and local agencies: Marietta Cobb Smyrna/Cobb Anti-Gang Enforcement (CAGE), Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, Marietta Police Department, Cobb District Attorney’s Office, Criminal Investigations Division and Criminal Intelligence Unit of the Georgia Department of Corrections, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Ball Ground Police Department, Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office/Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglasville Police Department, Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, Floyd County Police Department, Rome/Floyd Metro Task Force, Floyd County District Attorney’s Office, Carrollton Police Department, Carroll County District Attorney’s Office/Coweta Judicial Circuit, Gainesville Police Department, Hall County District Attorney’s Office, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Pickens County District Attorney’s Office/Appalachian Judicial Circuit, Jefferson County, Alabama Sheriff’s Office, Metro Area Crime Center, Jefferson County, Alabama District Attorney’s Office/Alabama Tenth Judicial Circuit, Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Newton County Sheriff’s Office, Covington Police Department, Walton/Newton County District Attorney’s Office/Alcovy Judicial Circuit, Drug Enforcement Administration – Chattanooga Field Office, Murray County Sheriff’s Office and the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney John Hanley of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine M. Hoffer and Jolee Porter.