For Immediate Release
One “Gangster Disciple” GangMember Sentenced While Another Indicted
Jackson, TN – One member of the violent "Gangster Disciples" street gang was sentenced as a felon in possession of a firearm, while another has been indicted on 4-counts of violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, as well as associated weapons charges. Lawrence J. Laurenzi, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentencing and indictment today.
According to information presented at sentencing, on July 13, 2015, officers with the Jackson Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance call at 318 West Forest Avenue. After the defendant Brandon Purdy, 27, answered the door, law enforcement saw what was later determined to be a loaded black and silver Smith and Wesson .40 caliber handgun on the kitchen counter within reach of Purdy.
After Purdy was arrested, law enforcement was given consent to search the remainder of the apartment. During the search, a Cobra .380 caliber pistol was found under the couch. Purdy made admissions in a recorded jail call to having knowledge and possession of the two firearms.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) laboratory located in Atlanta, Georgia, did NIBIN testing on the weapons found in Brandon Purdy’s possession. NIBIN, or the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, is an ATF led program that is used to link violent criminals to the violent crimes they commit by using the firearms they possess or use. The NIBIN program allows law enforcement to leverage technology to assist local agencies, such as the Jackson Police Department, to solve violent crimes. NIBIN is not only instrumental in Jackson, TN, but also in other parts of the country where the criminal element uses firearms to commit crimes of violence.
The weapons possessed by Purdy were tested and compared with evidence recovered from past Jackson crime scenes. The .40 caliber Smith and Wesson pistol was determined to have been used in two Gangster Disciples shootings.
Purdy is a documented member of the Gangster Disciples street gang. His brother, Byron Purdy, is recognized as Governor of Tennessee for the gang, making him the highest ranking Gangster Disciple member in the State. Byron Purdy is currently charged in a 16 defendant indictment with racketeering and drug crimes.
On April 12, 2017, Senior District Judge J. Daniel Breen sentenced Brandon Purdy to the maximum penalty within his guideline range of 37 months’ imprisonment.
Second Indictment for Douglas
On April 17, 2017, Dontoreus Douglas, 29, was indicted in the Western District of Tennessee on 4 counts of violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity (VICAR). Each count is based upon the attempted murder of four different victims on June 12,2012. Each of the VICAR counts has a corresponding count for using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. There is also one count for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to the indictment, Douglas and other members and associates of the Gangster Disciples engaged in narcotics distribution, firearms trafficking, and acts of violence, involving murder, attempted murder and assault.
The Gangster Disciples enterprise has a highly-organized structure with nationwide reach. As of the date of the indictment, the Gangster Disciples were active in 35 states. It is further alleged in the indictment that Douglas committed the attempted murders for the purpose of gaining entrance to or maintaining or increasing position within the Gangster Disciples.
For the four counts of violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each of the using and carrying a firearm in relation of a crime of violence counts has a potential penalty of not less than 10 years, consecutive to the respective VICAR counts.
Douglas is presently in federal custody for charges that are pending from an indictment returned against him in June 2016. That indictment alleges charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
The case was investigated by the ATF and the Jackson Police Department, Gang Enforcement Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Boswell is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.
The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.