AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- After two years of undercover work, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office narcotics unit and the DEA say they have uncovered a network of gang members and co-conspirators.
Wednesday they identified and charged 34 people as a result of a two year-long undercover drug and gang operation.
The sheriff’s office says it has indicted members and co-conspirators of the Hill Top Gang.
“I think it’s good. I think it’s great,” said Augusta woman Brenda Hawes. “It’s needed. Much needed.”
We do not know the exact location of where the alleged gang operates. But NewsChannel 6 spoke with some Augustans who say it makes them feel safer knowing the sheriff’s office is making strides to combat crime.
“Makes you feel a whole lot better,” said Augusta woman Arelene Williams.
The sheriff’s office says the first wave of arrests occurred from March of 2016 through last month. They say eight of the defendants are charged with federal crimes. The remaining 26 are charged with state felonies.
“I’m totally against crime, and anything that the sheriff’s office can do…I’m all for it,” said Augusta resident Diane Meyer.
More than $100,000 in cash and other assets were seized over the course of the investigation, the sheriff’s office says.
“I still don’t understand all these gangs and things, and I am amazed when I hear about the gang activity here in Augusta,” Meyer said.
She says she has seen possible signals of gang activity in the Garden City.
“I see the sneaker thrown over the wire or something, and for a long time I didn’t know what that meant,” she said.
But she says she’s hopeful for the future.
“I feel encouraged about things around here because of such things as that two-year sting,” Meyer said.
The Sheriff’s Office says this bust is a continuation of efforts by Sheriff Roundtree and District Attorney Natalie Paine to crack down on criminal street gangs.
We should be receiving more information on these indictments and arrests Thursday.