Georgia A.G. creates new gang investigation unit to crack down on organized crime

ATLANTA — Georgia’s Attorney General has named the leader of a new gang investigation unit that is the first of its kind in the state.

A.G. Chris Carr said Wednesday that Cara Convery will report to work June 15 and help build a team whose mission it is to make Georgia streets safe from gangs.

The unit will start with eight lawyers and four paralegals on the team and grow from there.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Channel 2′s Mark Winne talked to Carr, who said that state officials know that 60 to 90% of all violent crime is committed by gang members, which is why he wanted to create the special unit.

“I don’t care if you are in southwest Georgia, southwest Atlanta, Buckhead or Blairsville,” Carr said. “Everyone deserves to feel safe.”

Carr said Convery is the perfect person to head up the unit.

TRENDING STORIES:

“She has handled some very complex gang and RICO cases, has a great reputation among prosecutors and among law enforcement officers,” Carr said. “She understands what we’re gonna try to do‚ which is you have to work with federal state and law enforcement if you’re gonna make a difference. And the other too is, who are the communities who are terrorized by gangs? Lower income, racially diverse and immigrant populations.”

Carr said the unit will perform several duties, including helping small town district attorneys who need the manpower and expertise that bigger counties already have and stepping in when local prosecutors don’t take a stand on gangs.

“They’re picking and choosing which laws they’re enforcing,” Carr said.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Carr said another focus will be gangs in prisons, who are corrupting guards and even ordering murders on the outside.

“Often times, again, we’ve got corrections facilities that are in smaller jurisdictions in our state where district attorneys may be a little bit more strapped as far as it relates to the resources that we have,” Carr said. “Well, we can come in and work together.”

Carr said gangs also play a big role in sex trafficking, and Convery’s team will also go after retail crime carried out by gangs or other organized groups.

Winne spoke to one mother whose son was gunned down by a gang member in Fulton County. She said Convery obtained convictions for murder and more, and that she brought more to the table than just legal expertise.

“She started it from scratch and didn’t stop. She questioned everybody and everything and got to the bottom of it,” she said. “She’s a breath of fresh air. She took me to a spot in life where I can begin a different process in my grieving.”

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who recently leveled a sweeping indictment against alleged members of Atlanta’s Young Slime Life gang, said of Convery:

“She was one of my most dedicated and committed young prosecutors, from the first day I met her. “It is with great pride I watch her take this new position. She will serve well the communities that so desperately need a gang prosecutor.”