A joint press conference announcing the culmination of Operation Caged Doves, where 46 people were indicted on racketeering and gang statute charges stemming from criminal activities in multiple Georgia counties and across the U.S., was held at the Upson County Courthouse on Oct. 28.
The operation originated with an arrest in Fayetteville, with three of those indicted having resided in Fayetteville at the time.
Among those at the press conference were Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore, District Attorney Marie Broder, Fayetteville Police Chief Scott Gray, Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb and numerous local, state and federal law enforcement officials.
Commenting on the operation, GBI Public Affairs Director Nelly Miles said In March 2019, the Upson County District Attorney’s Office reached out to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Gang Task Force requesting that agents take a deep look into connected crimes in the Upson, Fayette and Spalding County areas. The Gang Task Force, with the investigative support of local, state and federal partners initiated an extensive investigation.
“The investigation showed that between May 2014 and September 2020, the men and women who have been indicted participated in a pattern of racketeering activity as part of the criminal enterprise known as the Rollin’ 20 Neighborhood Bloods,” Miles continued. “They operated across the State of Georgia, including but not limited to Upson, Fayette, Spalding, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Richmond, Greene, Telfair and Washington counties and throughout the United States of America. This criminal enterprise committed numerous crimes, including but not limited to drug trafficking, assault, theft of money and personal property, conspiring to assault inmates and recruiting gang members.”
Of the 46 indicted, 25 have been arrested and 21 are wanted. With one exception, all those arrested were booked into the Upson County Jail.
This investigation is being prosecuted by the Upson County District Attorney’s Office, Miles said.
District Attorney Marie Broder said the operation originated with an arrest in Fayette County, which led to information being discovered by GBI after they were requested to assist with the investigation.
Broder said three of the 46 indicted were residing in Fayetteville and have been charged with racketeering. Those included:
– Derrick Ferguson, age 41, from California;
– Juan Gomez-Penaloza, age 25; and
– Asia Thompson, age 31.
Broder noted that several of those indicted were living in Spalding County and two were residing in Upson County, with the remainder living in other areas of the state.
“I was honored to partner with so many agencies to be able to present this indictment. I would like to thank Sheriff Barry Babb and Chief Scott Gray for their assistance in this investigation,” Broder said. “Fayette County has been targeted by Rollin’ 20’s Neighborhood Bloods gang members for the past several years. It is time for the targeting to stop. The 46 defendants charged have committed crime across our judicial circuit and the state. I look forward to working with my team and my law enforcement partners to ensure that these evildoers who have acted with impunity for far too long are punished.”
From his perspective, Fayetteville Police Chief Scott Gray said, “Criminal enterprises that prey on our citizens will not go unchecked. We will bring them to justice. We have a great district attorney in Marie Broder who is willing to partner with us and other agencies to get the job done.”
Also noting the efforts undertaken with operation, and referencing the cases specific to Fayette County, Sheriff Barry Babb said, “This is absolutely what we needed to happen, to recognize what’s going on and work together. And I appreciate having these prosecutions as a priority. It went more smoothly than if we had tried to do it on our own.”
Commenting on the GBI gang bust, Gov. Kemp said, “Today’s announcement highlights why my administration continues to prioritize fighting criminal street gangs and supporting the GBI Gang Task Force. The task force, working closely with local and federal law enforcement officials, has been the tip of the spear in making our communities safer and bringing criminals to justice. I applaud GBI Director Vic Reynolds and his staff, Upson County District Attorney Broder, Sheriffs Kilgore and Dix, Thomaston Police Chief Richardson and all of our vital partners in this effort, for their leadership and hard work over the last year.”
Also commenting on the operation’s indictment, Attorney General Chris Carr said, “In Georgia, we are fortunate to have dedicated law enforcement officials at the local, state and federal level who are willing to work in partnership and go the extra mile to keep our citizens safe. This large-scale effort, led by the GBI Gang Task Force and local officials, will allow members of the affected communities to rest easier knowing their public safety officials are working diligently to make Georgia the safest place to live, work and raise a family. I commend everyone who played a role in bringing this criminal enterprise to the ground.”
The following agencies assisted with this investigation:
– Fayette County Sheriff’s Office
– Fayetteville Police Department
– Georgia Department of Community Supervision
– Georgia Department of Corrections
– Georgia National Guard – Counter Drug Unit
– Griffin Police Department
– Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta
– Spalding County Sheriff’s Office
– Thomaston Police Department
– U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Atlanta Division
– Upson County Sheriff’s Office
– Upson County District Attorney’s Office
The GBI Gang Task Force is comprised of the following agencies: Atlanta Police Department, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta and the Georgia National Guard.