GEORGIA — Five people arrested for the murder of a 14-year-old girl are members of an all-white gang called the Ghostface Gangsters, Coweta County Sheriff Lenn Wood told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne.
Winne has been extensively reporting about the dangerous Ghostface Gangsters gang since 2014.
He said the gang is “significant with meth.”
Unlike almost all other gangs, which originate on the streets and end up in prisons, Winne says the Ghostface Gangsters started in the Cobb County Jail and then made their way to the streets.
“My experience suggests Ghostface has a rigid hierarchical structure, with rules that these lawbreakers, ironically, pay a lot of attention to,” Winne said.
Exclusive Jailhouse Interview
In March 2015, members of the gang faced a racketeering indictment. The gang was said to be more than 400 members strong in the state at the time and heavily involved in the drug trade.
Winne got an exclusive jailhouse interview with one of the suspects. He interviewed Patty Green in the Newton County Detention Center, who told Winne she was a grandmother and a mother.
“I’m definitely not a racketeer. I’m not a criminal,” Green said.
A District Attorney’s Office investigator said a racketeering indictment painted Green as a key associate of the Ghostface Gangsters.
“Have you ever heard of the Ghostface gang?” Winne asked Green.
“I’ve heard of a lot of different gangs, but I don’t believe they’re really gangs,” Green said.
Green was released from prison on Nov. 15, 2019 and is currently on parole, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections website.
In May 2017, Winne reported that federal, state and local authorities arrested 13 alleged Ghostface Gangsters or gang associates around the state.
One of the arrests happened as Winne was wrapping up an interview with one of the suspects about to be arrested.
“Are you a Ghostface Gangster?” Winne asked the suspect.
“No, I’m retired now,” the suspect said.
“They allow you do that?” Winne asked.
“Yeah. I’ve been Ghostface a long time,” the suspect said.
“Operation Vanilla Gorilla”
In December 2018, Winne reported that the southern district of Georgia U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed a grand jury had indicted dozens affiliated with the Ghostface Gangsters.
It was part of what they called “Operation Vanilla Gorilla.”
The charges included trafficking meth, cocaine, heroin, illegal firearms possession and counterfeiting.
As of November 2019, all 43 defendants pleaded guilty to the charges, the Department of Justice said in a news release.
The DOJ says the 43 defendants had 561 previous arrests.
Four defendants had more than 10 felony convictions each.
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