Atlanta

8 gang members sentenced for execution of teen suspected of ‘snitching,’ officials say

ATLANTA — Eight Georgia gang members have been sentenced to federal prison after a prosecutor said they executed a teenager for “snitching.”

A gang leader in northwest Georgia, Maurice Antonio Kent, a.k.a. “Savage Duze,” 32, was the lead defendant in the case, according to United States Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan.

According to court documents, on May 13, 2017, an argument began outside a Brookhaven nightclub between a 135 Pirus gang member and a rival gang member.

Authorities said Kent fired multiple rounds into a crowd outside the club, seriously injuring a rival gang member and a club security guard.

When Kent fled from the scene, officials said he tossed the firearm from a car just before police caught him.

While in custody, authorities said Kent learned that a 17-year-old fellow gang member, who court officials believe witnessed the shooting, was interviewed by police.

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Two days later, Buchanan said 135 Pirus gang members devised a plan to lure the teen to Bartow County, where they shot and killed him with Kent’s gun and left the body of the 17-year-old on a rural road.

Buchanan said after the shooting, Kent threw the firearm into Lake Allatoona, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation later recovered.

“The members of the 135th Street Pirus gang were willing to violently assault and kill people for the smallest perceived sign of disrespect,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI and the Safe Streets Gang Task Force are committed to working with our partners to ensure that individuals are held accountable for their crimes and to eliminate gang violence from our communities.”

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On May 18, 2022, Kent was found guilty of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Conspiracy, violent crime aid of racketeering, discharging a firearm during the commission of those violent crimes, and possession of a firearm while being a convicted felon. Buchanan said he was later sentenced to 40 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

.According to court documents, the jury at Kent’s federal trial heard evidence that he was involved in a drive-by shooting of a man standing in his front yard in Cartersville eight months before the nightclub shooting.

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Seven more of Kent’s fellow gang members were subsequently indicted on RICO conspiracy and other charges, the last of whom was sentenced this week.

In addition to Davis, Buchanan said the following 135 Pirus gang members and associates were previously convicted and sentenced in this case:

  • Christopher Nwanjoku, a.k.a. “Problem,” 30, a 135 Pirus leader from Lawrenceville, Georgia, received a sentence of 25 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Nwanjoku pled guilty to RICO Conspiracy.
  • Gary Terrell Davis, a.k.a. “Bhody,” 36, of Cartersville, Georgia, was sentenced to seven years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
  • Jamel Dupree Hughes, a.k.a. “Savage,” 28, a 135 Pirus member from Atlanta, Georgia, received a sentence of 26 years and two months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Hughes pled guilty to murder in aid of racketeering, use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
  • Cedric Sams, Jr., a.k.a. “Awall,” 30, a 135 Pirus member from Cartersville, Georgia, received a sentence of 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Sams pled guilty to murder in aid of racketeering and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death.
  • Michael Kent, a.k.a. “Wikked,” 32, a 135 Pirus associate from Atlanta, Georgia, who is Maurice Antonio Kent’s twin brother, was sentenced to 20 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Michael Kent pled guilty to RICO Conspiracy.
  • Jennifer Foutz, a.k.a. “Rose,” 30, a 135 Pirus member from Acworth, Georgia, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Foutz pled guilty to aiding and abetting murder in aid of racketeering and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death.
  • DaSean Dorey, 29, a 135 Pirus member from Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced to ten years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Dorsey pled guilty to aiding and abetting murder in aid of racketeering and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death.

“The pain and fear these defendants caused through their senseless violence have forever altered the lives of the victims, the victims’ families, and the witnesses brave enough to assist investigators,” Buchanan said. “We are grateful to our law enforcement partners for their perseverance in investigating the various acts of violence and threats of violence committed by this gang over the years and for bringing a measure of closure to those who have been impacted. While the perpetrators of these crimes are now in prison, tragically, the gang culture that promoted these violent acts remains a scourge in our community. At-risk teens remain vulnerable to the lure of gang culture and require our collective diligence to avoid this dangerous path.”

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Buchanan said the court documents revealed that the 135 Pirus gang originated in Compton, California, and has a national presence, including in northern Georgia.

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