Officials say gang exploited children in fake charity scam

A multi-state gang that was involved in human trafficking and racketeering was thwarted by Georgia officials and indictments have been handed down in the case.

Tuesday, a Cherokee County grand jury returned indictments against alleged members of the Nine Trey Bloods – a subset of the United Blood Nation which is a well-known criminal street gang out of Los Angeles. Fourteen people were indicted for acts related to alleged human trafficking, gang activity, money laundering, racketeering and charity fraud.

The investigation was launched by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, which typically handles elections and business licensing.

So how does the Secretary of State’s office get involved in busting a gang? Read on.

In the fall, investigators and financial attorneys from the Charities Division of the Secretary of State’s office discovered that alleged gang members were coercing children to go door to door asking for “donations” for an unlicensed charity called Georgia Peach Youth Club of America Inc.

Initial investigation by the Charities Division found that the so-called charity may have had ties to gang activity. They brought their initial findings to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Human Trafficking Group.

The investigation grew to include other GBI units as well as the Department of Labor, Attorney General Chris Carr’s office and multiple federal agencies.

“Using children to wheedle money from generous Georgians to finance gang activity is unforgiveable,” he said. “I’m proud that the skills of our professional investigators sparked what became a multiagency crackdown and will mean protecting children and donors from a horrible scam.”

Those charged, their alleged crimes, and the maximum penalties upon conviction include: 

• JAMAINNE CHARLES HALL – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 4 counts of Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, 5 Counts of Money Laundering, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 186 years

• MIGUEL J. BAEZ, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 4 counts of Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, 5 Counts of Money Laundering, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 186 years

• JULE W. HUSTON, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 5 Counts of Money Laundering, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 126 years

• RONALD JOHN CROWE, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 5 Counts of Money Laundering, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 126 years

• ROBERT PETER BLACKWOOD, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 4 counts of Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 161 years

• ROMAINE MATTHEW ROBERTS, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 101 years

• KAVON KEITH THOMPSON, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 101 years

• KIYA A. JEFFERSON, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 101 years

• DOMINIQUE PROVOST, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 101 years

• KIVA VIOLA CLARKE, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 101 years

• ISAIAH RUBEN CORDERO, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 101 years

• NATHAN JAMES JACKSON, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 101 years

• RAHEEM ICARUS POPLEY CARVEY, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 101 years

• AARON YUSEF ABDULLAH, – Racketeering, 4 Counts of Human Trafficking, 1 Count of Charity Fraud – 101 years

“As an investigator, it is gratifying for our team members to participate in this investigation with the professional agencies involved and contribute to safeguarding children and the kind people who contribute to legitimate charities,” said Frances Watson, head of the 24-investigator team in the Secretary of State’s office. “We often team up with the GBI and other investigative agencies, and these indictments show how that cooperation pays off for Georgians.”

Remember, an indictment is only an allegation and that those named are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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