Accused gang members known for white supremacy plead guilty to federal charges in Savannah

Crime & Safety
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More than a dozen accused gang members have pleaded guilty in federal court for trafficking drugs and guns through our area.

The Department of Justice says 16 people pleaded guilty in federal court as part of Operation Vanilla Gorilla. The investigation focused on the Ghostface Gangsters, a violent street gang largely operated from inside Georgia’s prison system. White supremacy and anti-Semitism are hallmarks of this gang. 

Back in November, News 3 reported the operation led to 46 indictments. The indictments claim that the drug-trafficking may have started in 2015, operating in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, Emmanuel, Evans, and Tattnall counties and elsewhere.

Those who have entered guilty pleas in the case are:

David McCloskey, 47, of Augusta, Ga., the lead defendant in the case, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine; Conspiracy to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine; and to Drug User in Possession of a Firearm. He faces not less than 10 years to life in federal prison.

Daniel Fleming, 32, of Savannah, Ga., pled guilty to Felon in Possession of Firearm. He faces up to 10 years in prison. However, if he is deemed by the court to be an Armed Career Criminal, he could be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years up to life.

Christine Loggins, 43, of Rockledge, Ga., pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. She faces up to 20 years.

Devon Aines, 32, of Garden City, Ga., pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. He faces up to 20 years.

Miranda Burnsed, 32, of Pembroke, Ga., pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine.  She faces up to 20 years.

Avery Wiggins, 43, of Guyton, Ga., pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine. She faces up to 20 years.

Maurice L. Graham, a/k/a “Moe,” 45, of Savannah, Ga., pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine, Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon, and Possession and Concealment of Counterfeit Obligations. He faces up to 20 years in prison. However, if he is deemed by the court to be an Armed Career Criminal, he could be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years up to life.

Jessie Hurt, 40, of Ellabell, Ga, pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. He faces at least 5 years up to life.

Raymond Warren, 47, of Ellabell, Ga, pled guilty to Felon in Possession of a Firearm. He was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment.

Ryan Smiley, 35, of Savannah, Ga, pled guilty to Felon in Possession of a Firearm. He was sentenced to 27 months.

Darren Driggers, 26, of Bloomingdale, Ga, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He faces up to 20 years in prison. However, if he is deemed by the court to be an Armed Career Criminal, he could be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years up to life.

Elizabeth Kitchens, 37, of Tybee Island, Ga, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. She faces up to 20 years in prison. However, if she is deemed by the court to be an Armed Career Criminal, she could be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years up to life.

Crystal Wilson, 36, of Bloomingdale, Ga, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine. She faces up to 20 years.

The proceedings of three additional defendants have been sealed by the court because of safety concerns. 

The indictments allege that the narcotics-trafficking conspiracy began as early as 2015, operating in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, Emmanuel, Evans, and Tattnall Counties, in the Southern District of Georgia, and elsewhere. Members of the conspiracy associated with the Ghost Face Gangsters and with other criminal street gangs to aid in the distribution of controlled substances, for protection, and to promote a climate of fear.

Operation Vanilla Gorilla represents one of the largest takedowns of Ghost Face Gangsters associates to date, and follows the March 2018 arrests of 23 gang members in the Northern District of Georgia on federal charges, and multiple arrests in October 2018 on state charges in Spalding County, Ga.

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