On Wednesday morning, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman announced the arrest of 10 alleged members of the "Gangsta Killer Bloods," including the alleged leader of the gang, 23-year-old Augustus Anthony Simmons, of Brooklyn, NY.
The arrests cap off six months of work by a Montgomery County investigative grand jury, who traced the alleged criminal enterprise back to Simmons' arrival in Norristown in July of 2010.
"When Simmons came in last summer, his goal was to organize criminals on the streets behind him," said Ferman. "He came down with the purpose of establishing and solidifying a Blood set in Montgomery County."
A large scale investigation was launched on Dec. 15 2010, after a pair of fire-bombings on Stanbridge Street. Investigators quickly gathered intelligence that linked the gang to other crimes and suggested that a sub-set of the Bloods had begun operating in Norristown and the rest of Montgomery County.
"The grand jury found, after a six month investigation, that Simmons was communicating on a regular basis with higher ranking members of the Bloods, specifically in New York," said Ferman.
In addition to the arrest of Simmons, Ferman also announced the arrest of 26-year-old Steven Freas, of Plymouth Meeting; 29-year-old Jason Freas, of Plymouth Meeting; 22-year-old Anthony Knight, of Norristown; 24-year-old Emmett Pearson, of Pottstown; 19-year-old Leon Lobban, of Norristown; 20-year-old Arienne Hernandez, of Norristown; and a woman named Amber Lucas.
Two others were arrested, but their names were withheld because they are juveniles.
Charges range widely, from perjury to witness tampering, robbery, arson, assault and criminal homicide.
"If you do not act quickly when you see gang activity, the consequences to the community can be extraordinary and severe," said Ferman. "These gang members across the country are urban terrorists. These are the kind of people who use fear and terror to inspire fear in the community. They want to shut people down. They want to make people feel unsafe."
"We are not going to let them get a foothold in our community."
Patch has republished the court documents in our PDF section.