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DA’s office takes aim at alleged gang leaders, members

By Melanie Ruberti

Melanie.ruberti@lagrangenews.com

LaGRANGE – Alleged members of the local Bloods criminal street gang are facing numerous charges for crimes throughout Troup County.

The document contains at least 11 defendants and 38 criminal charges – though not every person listed in the indictment is charged in all of the counts.

The indictment was handed down in mid-January by the Troup County District Attorney’s office and mainly targets one set of the local Bloods gang called the Pirus.

The Piru set was started in Compton, Calif. Members mainly affiliate themselves as part of the “west-coast Bloods.”

Alleged gang members and associates named in the indictment are: Brandon LaGeorge Crowley, Alicia Yvonne Broadnax, Tyree Devion Williams, Derrean Demetrius Tucker, Keenan Avonte Harps, Jamal Tarique Garrett, Devonte Kennell Cameron, Rashawn Malik Tucker, Preston Scott White, Sharon Lynn Finley and Jermill Fonta Fannin.

The Troup County DA’s office stated in the document some of the charges included an attempted robbery of two Hispanic men outside a home on Cherry Street in August of 2016, an armed robbery of a person outside the Hot Spot convenience store last November, possession of marijuana and an alleged gang initiation that involved beating another person.

There were a total of 28 charges filed in the indictment for Violation of the Street Gang and Prevention Act. Everyone named in the document will not face all 28 counts, if any, explained the DA’s office.

Prosecutors used sub-sections of the state gang statute to indict alleged members. Those sections included committing a crime with the intent to maintain or increase status within gang, being in a “supervisory” or leadership role within gang and encouraging criminal activity on behalf of the gang.

Brandon Crowley was named as the alleged “leader” of the local Piru set in the indictment.

“This makes it easier to go after gang members –  and also go after the leadership of the gang,” said Sgt. Mark Cavender, head of LaGrange Police Department’s Special Investigation Unit. “The prosecution can show individual crimes and hopefully show how they are linked together – and back to the gang. Which is ultimately the goal of gang statute.

“I think it (state gang statute and indictment) is most effective tool in prosecuting the gangs,” he continued. “Not just going after one, but multiple members at one time. It is by far the most effective way to eradicate the gang … and to break up the rank of the gang.”

Those named in the indictment are set to be arraigned in a Troup County Superior Court on Feb. 7.

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.