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Thursday, October 25, 2012
Violent, sophisticated gang dismantled with arrests
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One of the most violent, sophisticated gangs in Central Florida — responsible for hundreds of crimes including homicides, drug trafficking and identity theft — was dismantled Wednesday with the arrests of nearly two dozen members.
Local, state and federal authorities built a racketeering case against 33 members of the Bloods and local sets of the street gang, including the Mohawk Boys, the Bullet Boys, the Fly Goons Lumberjacks and the Marlin Boys.
Law-enforcement became aware of the violent gangs in 2006, and since then, have linked members to a range of crimes including the recent shooting of 15-year-old Danielle Sampson, who was struck in the head by a stray bullet while riding in her family's minivan.
Authorities said the suspected shooter, gang member Tyrone Mosby, was fleeing a burglary at a drug house at the time.
"There's no question that our community will be safer," Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said of the arrests.
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The investigation, which involves the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and multiple sheriff's and police departments, is ongoing. Twelve members remain wanted by authorities.
Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation Director Larry Zwieg said there is no end to the type of crimes the gang members committed through the years.
"The crimes were all over the map," he said.
That includes traditional drug sales, such as cocaine, but the group also expanded into the prescription-drug trafficking market.
The center of the investigation, dubbed "Operation Strong Arm," is Jabarus Nathan, identified by MBI as the leader of the organization.
Nathan, a local rap artist who records under the "Fly Boy Moses Law Entertainment" label, has an extensive criminal history including dozens of felony arrests.
Other high-ranking members of the gang who were charged include: Justin Dickson, Santana Sutton Sr., Lincoln Granston, Colin Wilson, Santana Sutton Jr., and Travis Jackson.
More than a dozen firearms and cocaine were seized in the case.