December 1st, 2022 – 2:30 PM
United States Attorneys Office Northern District of Georgia –
Gary Terrell Davis, an associate of the 135 Piru gang responsible for a series of violent acts throughout the Northern District of Georgia, is the last defendant to be sentenced for his role in a federal RICO conspiracy. The main targets in the case, including lead defendant Maurice Antonio Kent, were previously convicted and sentenced for their roles in the execution-style murder of a 17-year-old boy and other offenses.
“The pain and fear these defendants caused through their senseless violence has forever altered the lives of the victims, the victims’ families, and the witnesses brave enough to assist investigators.” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “We are grateful to our law enforcement partners for their perseverance in investigating the various acts of violence and threats of violence committed by this gang over the years and for bringing a measure of closure to those who have been impacted. While the perpetrators of these crimes are now in prison, tragically the gang culture that promoted these violent acts remains a scourge in our community. At-risk teens remain vulnerable to the lure of gang culture and require our collective diligence to avoid this dangerous path.”
“The members of the 135th Street Pirus gang were willing to violently assault and kill people for the smallest perceived sign of disrespect,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI and the Safe Streets Gang Task Force are committed to working with our partners to ensure that individuals are held accountable for their crimes and to eliminate gang violence from our communities.”
“This case is a great example of how collaboration with our local and federal partners is necessary to fight organized crime,” stated Brookhaven Chief of Police Brandon Gurley. “We are grateful for the relentless work of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to hold this final defendant accountable for the violent crimes he committed in our city and throughout Georgia.”
“Again, I’d like to credit the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia that has been in place for many years,” said Cartersville Police Chief Frank McCann. “The PSN program puts federal, state, and local law enforcement officers together regularly to remove violent repeat offenders from our streets.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: The 135 Pirus gang originated in Compton, California, and has a national presence, including in the Northern District of Georgia. Maurice Antonio Kent, a.k.a. “Savage Duze,” 32, the lead defendant charged in the RICO Conspiracy, was a gang leader in northwest Georgia with leadership authority over members in the vicinity of Cartersville and Rome, Georgia.
In the early morning hours of May 13, 2017, an argument occurred outside a Brookhaven, Georgia, nightclub between a California-based 135 Pirus gang member and a rival gang member. At that time, Kent fired multiple rounds into a crowd of people outside the club, critically wounding the other gang member as well as a club security guard. During his flight from the scene, Kent tossed the firearm from a vehicle just before he was apprehended by police. Soon after being arrested and while in custody, Kent learned that a 17-year-old fellow gang member, who may have witnessed the shooting, was interviewed by law enforcement. Kent suspected the teen of “snitching.” Two days later, 135 Pirus gang members devised a plan to lure the teenager to Bartow County, where they shot and killed him with Kent’s gun, leaving the boy’s body on a rural road.
At Kent’s federal trial earlier this year, a jury heard evidence that eight months prior to the nightclub shooting, Kent committed a drive-by shooting of a man standing in his front yard in Cartersville, Georgia. After that shooting, Kent threw the firearm into Lake Allatoona. The FBI later recovered the gun from the bottom of the lake and matched cartridge casings and a bullet from the drive-by shooting to Kent’s firearm.
On May 18, 2022, the jury found Maurice Antonio Kent a.k.a., “Savage Duze,” 32, of Cartersville, Georgia, guilty of RICO Conspiracy, violent crime in aid of racketeering, discharging a firearm during the commission of those violent crimes, and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. On August 24, 2022, the Court sentenced Kent to 40 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Gary Terrell Davis, a.k.a. “Bhody,” 36, of Cartersville, Georgia, was sentenced to seven years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
In addition to Kent and Davis, the following 135 Pirus gang members and associates were previously convicted and sentenced in this case:
- Christopher Nwanjoku, a.k.a. “Problem,” 30, a 135 Pirus leader from Lawrenceville, Georgia, received a sentence of 25 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Nwanjoku pled guilty to RICO Conspiracy.
- Jamel Dupree Hughes, a.k.a. “Savage,” 28, a 135 Pirus member from Atlanta, Georgia, received a sentence of 26 years and two months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Hughes pled guilty to murder in aid of racketeering, use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
- Cedric Sams, Jr., a.k.a. “Awall,” 30, a 135 Pirus member from Cartersville, Georgia, received a sentence of 20 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Sams pled guilty to murder in aid of racketeering and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death.
- Michael Kent, a.k.a. “Wikked,” 32, a 135 Pirus associate from Atlanta, Georgia, who is Maurice Antonio Kent’s twin brother, was sentenced to 20 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Michael Kent pled guilty to RICO Conspiracy.
- Jennifer Foutz, a.k.a. “Rose,” 30, a 135 Pirus member from Acworth, Georgia, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Foutz pled guilty to aiding and abetting murder in aid of racketeering and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death.
- DaSean Dorey, 29, a 135 Pirus member from Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced to ten years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Dorsey pled guilty to aiding and abetting murder in aid of racketeering and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death.
This case was investigated by the FBI Safe Streets Gang Task Force, with valuable assistance provided by the Brookhaven Police Department, the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, the Cartersville Police Department, and the Georgia Department of Community Supervision.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Morris, who serves as a Project Safe Neighborhoods Coordinator, and Michael Herskowitz, prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.