Memphis Police Arrest 22 Gang Members in Drug Sting

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A Memphis Police undercover investigation netted 22 arrests for street-level heroin and cocaine sales, announced Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong in a press conference Friday afternoon.

Toney Armstrong (left) discusses recent investigations at a Friday afternoon press conference.
  • Toney Armstrong (left) discusses recent investigations at a Friday afternoon press conference.
The investigation targeted members of the Gangster Disciples gang and ran from January 1st, 2014 to February 28th, 2015. The gang was infiltrated by an undercover Organized Crime Unit officer and a confidential informant. Charges for the 22 arrested range from intent to sell or deliver heroin, cocaine, and meth to possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. 

The sting led to the seizure of $206,891, 203 kilos of cocaine with a street value of $6 million, three kilos of heroin with a street value of $180,000, seven handguns, and 10 vehicles used to transport narcotics. The drugs were transported to Memphis in all sorts of ways, including by Greyhound bus and through the U.S. mail. 

Nineteen of the 22 suspects are Gangster Disciples, and one is an LMG, which stands for LeMoyne-Owen Gang.

"There will not be a gang in this city more powerful than the Memphis Police Department. And there will not be a gang leader more powerful than the Memphis Police director," said Armstrong, in a warning issued to gang members.

Armstrong also gave a few updates on recent crimes. He said nine people have been arrested for involvement in the mob attack at the BP at Poplar and Cleveland last Thursday. In that incident, Orrden Williams, Jr. was attacked by teens from Northwest Prep Academy, a Shelby County School for students who are overage for their grade, when he tried to escort an older woman who was afraid of the teens to her car.

Armstrong said the suspects range in age from 16 to 19, and many have criminal histories ranging from simple assault to sexual battery.

He also said three people — Carl Johnson (19), Jordan Clayton (21), and Branden Brookins (19) — have been arrested in the drive-by shooting death of 7-year-old Kirsten Williams. Williams was playing outside her home last Friday (April 10th) on Durby Street when the men drove by and fired multiple rounds into the house.  

Memphis Police are still investigating the April 10th murder of 15-year-old Cateria Stokes. A drive-by shooting at her house at 4581 Cottonwood in Parkway Village led to Stokes being shot in the head while she slept in her bed . A 63-year-old man inside the home was also shot. The incident occurred around 2 a.m.

"We are still working on that investigation. We will not rest. We will turn over every rock to bring that investigation to a successful conclusion," Armstrong said. 


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