15 indicted in Lancaster County gang bust
Law enforcement officials announced Monday that 15 people had been indicted for their role in a Lancaster County gang.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile and Lancaster Police Chief Harlean Howard Monday to announce the arrests. Faile said a total of 15 suspected gang members now face a total of 53 felony indictments. He said the investigation began in October 2009 after a “rash of suspected gang-related crimes.”
“It has not been an easy or a quick task and it by no means is finished,” Faile told reporters, “But we have taken the first major step and dealt a major blow to a suspected criminal gang.”
State Attorney General Alan Wilson said the charges include attempted murder, armed robbery, weapons charges, and criminal conspiracy. “We’re not talking about the kinds of gangs you see in old movies standing on the street spraying graffiti on bridges and walls,” Wilson said, “We’re talking about organized crime and the kind of organized crime that can have deadly consequences for communities.”
Faile said all 15 of the suspected gang members identify themselves as ‘Gangsta Disciples’ and are associated with the ‘Folk Nation’ gang. Most of the suspects range from ages 16-23. The arrests were made as part of “Operation Family Reunion.”
“Indeed, another stronghold has been broken,” Howard said. “We want our citizens to feel safe within the confines of their home, within their neighborhood, and within their community.”
Wilson said more arrests are expected to be made in the coming weeks, as a handful of sealed indictments are still pending in a state grand jury.