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Former DeKalb County police officer sentenced to prison for gang activity

Crime and public safety Metro ATL

Former DeKalb County police officer sentenced to prison for gang activity

A DeKalb County Police vehicle. Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons
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Decatur, GA — Vancito Gumbs, a former DeKalb County police officer and member of the Gangster Disciples, has been sentenced for racketeering conspiracy involving murder, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office.

“Vancito Gumbs moonlighted as a member of the Gangster Disciples while serving as a DeKalb County Police Officer,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “His brazen disregard for his sworn duty as a police officer, betrayal of the public’s trust, and disregard for human life warrants the significant sentence he received in this case.”

“It is reprehensible for a law enforcement officer sworn to serve and protect the public to instead serve a ruthless gang that has preyed upon, and threatened the well-being of the good people in his community,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Because of the efforts of the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force and its state and local partners, our community is safer and Gumbs is no longer a part of it.”

“No one is above the law and this sentencing demonstrates that everyone is held accountable for their actions even if they wear a badge,” said DeKalb Police Chief Mirtha V. Ramos.

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: The Gangster Disciples are a national gang with roots in Chicago dating back to the 1970s.  The gang is highly structured, with a hierarchy of leadership posts known as “Positions of Authority” or “POAs.”  The gang strictly enforces rules for its members, the most important of which is “Silence and Secrecy” – a prohibition on cooperating with law enforcement.  Violations of the rule are punishable by death. Evidence at trial showed that the Gangster Disciples were responsible for twenty-four shootings from 2011 through 2015, including twelve murders.

Gumbs, who had been photographed flashing a hand sign used by the Gangster Disciples, was a self-professed “hitman” for the gang while serving as a police officer. While he was employed as a DeKalb County Police Officer, federal agents captured Gumbs on recorded phone calls with the “Chief Enforcer” for the Georgia Gangster Disciples. Evidence showed that during these calls, Gumbs relayed law enforcement information to the gang and provided a firearm to a fellow gang member. On later calls, the Chief Enforcer noted that he had Gangster Disciples police officers at his disposal.

Vancito Gumbs, 28, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release.  Gumbs was convicted on May 16, 2019, of the offense of RICO conspiracy following a jury trial.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta Police Department, and DeKalb County Police Department.

 

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