The defendants, who range in age from early 20s to early 60s and include two women, face charges that include conspiracy to sell and deliver cocaine, oxycodone and marijuana, as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Five defendants also were indicted on charges of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and guns that were found during the execution of various search warrants.
The indictments include a gang-enhancement count alleging that many of the defendants are members of the Memphis Mob which would increase their punishment if convicted.
The investigation by the Multi-Agency Gang Unit began last August and concluded in March, though officers still are following up on leads generated during the probe.
The case is being handled by Chief Prosecutor Paul Hagerman and Asst. Dist. Atty. Austin Scofield of the DA’s Crime Strategies Prosecution Unit (CSPU) which incorporates and expands the work of the Multi-Agency Gang Unit, the Organized Crime Unit, Project Safe Neighborhood/Gundone, GunStat, the Safe Streets Task Force and the Violent Crime Unit.
For continuity, the same CSPU prosecutor will handle a case from start to finish, an approach known as vertical prosecution. Cases will involve gang members and violent crimes, including homicides, aggravated robberies, kidnappings, rapes, criminal-attempt murders and narcotics trafficking.
The CSPU was formerly known as the DA’s Multi-Agency Gang Prosecution Unit, originally formed in 1996 as the Gang & Narcotics Prosecution Unit to combat the high volume of cases involving verified gang members.
The prosecution team works daily with the MGU Operations Team which was formed in 2011 and is made up of highly-trained members of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division, Memphis Police Department Organized Crime Unit, as well as the ATF, FBI and the U.S. Marshals. MGU conducts long-term investigations of criminal gangs to disrupt illegal activities.