Gang activities alarm the general public while membership of a street gang can land you in jail for a long period of time.
A recent report drew attention to the phenomenon of the Ghost Face Gangsters, a white supremacist group that has been operating behind bars in Georgia for years.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported 24-year-old William Jeff Goodman is one of several gang members accused of beating and stabbing a man from Canton after the men allegedly broke into his pick-up truck.
The indictment in Cherokee County alleged Goodman and accomplices to the crime are members of the Ghost Face Gangsters, a group that has been active in prisons in Georgia for almost two decades.
The report stated that while the gang may have been formed in prisons, its activities go beyond the prison walls. It is linked to a least three incidents in recent months, including a prison break in June that left two correctional officers dead.
Neither the Georgia Department of Corrections nor the GBI, which doesn’t have a gang unit devoted to monitoring members’ activities, cooperated with the AJC investigation.
The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that fights hate crimes, says there are at least 100 white supremacist prison gangs operating in the United States.
The AJC reported at least three including the Ghost Face Gangsters are active in Georgia. The Ghost Face Gangsters originated in California in the 1970s, states the ADL. An original founding member set up the Georgia group in 1998. In a 24-page report, the ADL said white supremacist gangs have increasingly become a menace in the United States. However, the problem may be downplayed compared to criminal organizations like the Latino gang MS-13. The report says:
“The growth and spread of these white supremacist gangs has become one of the United States’ most serious — but least talked about—white supremacist problems.”
Local law enforcement officers say not all members of the Ghost Face Gangsters are white supremacists. However, the main mission of the group seems to be that of crime.
Six alleged Ghost Face Gangsters ended up indicted on December 12 last year on charges related to stabbing and beating of the Canton man, officials said. The alleged crime took place on March 8, according to the indictment.
All six men are charged with at least one count of violating the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
The suspects who were indicted include Houston Halton Garner III, 29, Heather Grace Rodgers, 20, also known as “Lil Trouble;”Corey James Ray, 34, Michael Lloyd Gravely, 26 and Frankie Cain Gilley, 22.
Some reports last year suggested the white supremacist gang movement is growing, spurred by anti-immigrant rhetoric at a national level.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) counts over 900 active hate groups in the U.S., reported CBS News.
Heidi Beirich, who tracks hate groups for SPLC said the movement is being fueled by an influx in young, angry white men.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, please contact the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.