In a press conference at the Cobb County Police Department headquarters this afternoon, Acting Cobb District Attorney John Melvin announced the indictment of 11 suspected members of the 1831 Piru Bloods, a set (subgroup) of the Bloods gang that originated in California. The gang was brought to Georgia by Etheridge Mosley, one of the defendants, in the 1990s. Melvin says there is evidence he was directed in setting up the Georgia group by leaders of the California-based Bloods.
Melvin said, “I’m here today to announce the indictment of 11 members and associates of the Bloods criminal street gang in a 74-count indictment under the Georgia Street Gang Prevention and Terrorism Act, the Georgia Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act as well as multiple counts of armed robbery, aggravated assault, (and) multiple weapons offenses.”
According to the indictment the 1831 in the gang’s name signifies the year that Nat Turner, the leader of a slave revolt, was executed, and Piru is the name of a street in Compton, California, where the gang was originally organized to combat the Crips, a rival gang.
Nine of the eleven defendants were arrested in a coordinated set of raids in Milledgeville and in locations around metro Atlanta. Two of the suspects named in the indictments are still at large. Melvin said the arrests “went without a hitch.”
He said, “I’d like to express my deep appreciation for the departments and agencies who are represented here today. Cobb County Police Department (Chief Mike Register will be addressing you after I close). The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, The Cobb County CAGE Unit, Milledgeville Police Department, South Fulton Police Department, the Sheriff’s offices of Baldwin, Fayette, Paulding and Douglas counties, the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, as well as members of the United States Marshall’s Service Southeast Regional (Fugitive) Task Force.”
The indictment states that the gang is active in all five police precincts in the county, as well as the cities in the county, but they are particularly strong in Precincts 2 and 3, and Clay Drive and Atlanta Road are mentioned in particular.
Asked what the significance of those locations are to the gang, Melvin said, “Every gang has kind of a nexus, not quite a headquarters, but a central area they operate in, but the 1831 Pirus have struck every single area of Cobb County, but they are most strongly concentrated in the area mentioned in the indictment.”
Melvin said that one of the gang members wrote on social media “Don’t go to Cobb, they’re handing out RICOs like speeding tickets.”
“1831 crimes here include armed robberies, aggravated assaults and various weapons offenses,” he said, “as well as as participation in the sale and distribution of illegal narcotics here in the state. So as you’re going to see in the indictment, we will prove that the individual defendants committed the actual acts. The engine driving criminality time and again, though, is the gang, specifically the Bloods.”
“The indictment contains many crimes that law-abiding citizens fear most,” he said. “Armed robberies, other violent acts with firearms, with convicted felons engaging in this conduct time and again. It’s important to note as well, because many of the crimes involve robbery and theft, there are individual victims as well. They span all demographics. And we’re going to stand strongly as their advocates to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Cobb County police chief Mike Register said, “I just want to echo what DA Melvin stated. It truly is a partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. You see that the extent of the indictments and the locations of the suspects that were arrested today, it’s not just a jurisdictional thing. These gangs have tentacles all across Georgia, all across the United States, and in some cases locally. And it really does take a very strong partnership not only with the law enforcement agencies but also with our court system, and I want to thank you specifically, DA Melvin, for your leadership since DA Reynolds vacated the office and went to the GBI”
James Callaway, president of the Georgia Gang Investigators Association, said there are estimated to be 70,000 gang members and associates in Georgia.