Investigation of ‘Sex Money Murder’ Gang Leads to Indictments in Augusta!

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Authorities announced the indictments of at least nine members of the ‘Sex Money Murder’ criminal street gang in Richmond County, a joint operation that has already led to a drop in felony crimes in parts of Augusta.

On Tuesday, Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree, Augusta Judicial District Attorney Natalie Paine, Federal Bureau of Investigations Special Agent in Charge Chris Hacker of the Atlanta Field Office, and United States Attorney Bobby Christine announced the indictment of several members of Sex Money Murder (SMM) criminal street gang.

These indictments ended an extensive investigation of this criminal street gang. In early 2018, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) Gang Intelligence Unit (GIU), and the FBI CSRA Safe Streets Task Force began investigating the criminal activities of the SMM criminal street gang.

SMM is a subset of the Bloods criminal street gang. SMM, and its members, were alleged to be responsible for numerous violations under the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, as well as numerous Federal charges, including several violent incidents involving SMM members.

During this investigation, GIU and the FBI identified and validated several members of SMM, some of whom had possible connections to the SMM National Organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. The SMM Members listed in the chart below, were arrested and have been indicted or are awaiting indictment at both the State and Federal level.

As a result of the investigation, there has been a significant reduction in criminal activity, specifically in aggravated assaults by firearm, in RCSO Zone 7. Richmond County’s Zone 7 was the focal point in Augusta, GA that SMM conducted the vast majority of their aforementioned criminal activities in and around. The success of this operation was due in large part, to the increased partnership between the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, FBI Safe Streets Task Force, Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.

The following individuals have been indicted and arrested for the listed State charges

Anthony Jaquez Butler: Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (10 counts) Aggravated Assault, Possession of Firearm During Commission of a Crime Theft by Receiving Stolen Property (Firearm)

Christopher Cohen: Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (10 counts) aka “Ferrari Rollie” Theft by Receiving Stolen Property (Firearm)

Reizhjon V. Coleman:  Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (10 counts) Aggravated Assault, Cruelty to Children in the First Degree, Possession of Firearm During the Commission of a Crime

Jamall Octavious Duke aka “Murda Mall”: Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (20 counts), Murder, Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Possession of Firearm During the Commission of a Crime

Jonathan Edward Duke: Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (2 counts), Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute

Johnny R. Franklin: Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (2 counts) Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Phillip Edward Jackson: aka “Phil”: Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (2 counts), Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute

Eric Leonard Wiley: Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (5 counts), Aggravated Assault, Cruelty to Children in the First Degree, False Imprisonment, Cruelty to Children in the Third Degree

Rashad Smith, Aka “Sosa”: Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Possession of Firearm by 1st Offender, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of MDMA

Additionally, Rashad Smith, Christopher Cohen, and Johnny Franklin will be charged federally for the following:
Rashad Smith: Receipt of a Firearm while under Indictment
Christopher Cohen: Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Johnny Franklin: Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Sheriff Roundtree, District Attorney Paine, and United States Attorney Christine continue to recognize the serious threat that gang organizations represent to our citizens and are committed to ensuring safety and security for our community.
Sheriff Richard Roundtree advised the Sheriff’s Office along with its partners continue efforts to disrupt and dismantle criminal gang organizations. The Sheriff’s Office along with partners are currently investigating other gang organizations and hope to announce arrests of these individuals in the near future. Our message is clear! If you continue gang crime, we are coming for you!
“This investigation and the resulting indictments are a testament to the commitment that our Local and Federal law enforcement agencies have made to ridding our communities of violent crime,” said Natalie Paine, District Attorney for the Augusta Judicial Circuit. “I am very proud of the efforts made during this investigation and look forward to continuing to work together.”

“This case demonstrates our commitment to protect the citizens of Richmond County and the positive results that can be achieved from that commitment,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “It is also an example of how criminal enterprises can be disrupted and dismantled when federal, state and local law enforcement agencies combine our expertise and resources.

“We know that our communities are safer when law enforcement and prosecutors work closely together, and the success of this operation makes that abundantly clear,” said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “Our office is committed to strengthening these partnerships that remove violent criminals from our neighborhoods.”