Last week a federal grand jury indicted 26 of Nashville Bloods members on charges including racketeering, murder conspiracy, weapons possession, assault with a dangerous weapon and drug possession with intent to distribute.
The two-year investigation that led to Wednesday morning’s roundup of 21 Bloods gang members started when the Metro police gang unit seized weapons they believed were involved in gang shootings.
Shortly after the initial weapons seizure, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms got involved, followed by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office and the Gallatin Police Department.
Steven Gerido, assistant special agent in charge for the ATF, said the investigation is only getting started.
“It is a good case, and it is only getting started,” he said. “There’s more work to be done.”
The indictment documents movements and conversations among various gang members, including discussions about buying and selling guns as well as drugs, robbing, shooting and organizing the gang’s ranks.
At a Jan. 3, meeting of the Bloods, the indictment describes how gang members discuss making other drug dealers on South Eighth Street pay tax to the Bloods. Ricky Williams, 24, tells the others, “[It] is about to get real deal organized. I’m trying to get some money, and I’m trying to take this [thing] over. … I am on some world domination type s**t.”
The 70-page, 30-count indictment also states that Lonnie Greenlee, co-founder of the Galaxy Star Drug Awareness and Gang Prevention Center, used the center as a haven for gang members, providing a meeting spot for gang leaders and providing means of falsifying community service papers at a charge of about $50 for a day’s worth of service hours.
In a release Thursday, a Galaxy Star spokesperson denied any involvement in criminal activity, stating that Greenlee hasn’t had an official status with the center in more than two years. Clemmie Greenlee, his sister, is the current Galaxy Star president and is not implicated in the indictment.
“Galaxy Star is a lawful nonprofit organization that works with people who have been marginalized by society, including gang members,” the statement reads.
“These arrests are merely the next logical step in the on-going investigation,” said Jerry Martin, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. “I am confident that as we continue to unpackage and piece together the illegal activity of these individuals, our community will be a safer place as we prepare to present our cases against these individuals and insure they are removed from our community for a long period of time.”
The 26 Bloods are from two sets of the street gang, the Tree Top Pirus and Eastside Skyline Pirus, named after the California neighborhoods where they originated. Together police believe those Bloods units consist of about 80 of Nashville’s 2,600 identified gang members.
Those indicted include: Lonnie Newsome, Ricky Williams, William Bartlett, Tim Allen, Anthony Brooks, Anthony Lampkins, Antonio Washington, Kerry Pettus, Joedon Bradley, Deshaune Jones, Donald Dowell, Alonzo McLaurine, Aaron Gooch, Jermaine Tate, Shayne Gibson, Alexander McDonald, Jermaine Coward, Jeffrey Albea, Torey Cohen Boseman, Karlos Taylor, Anthony Campbell, James House, Rodney Britton and Lonnie Greenlee.