As crime wave kills 2 more, authorities take aim at gangs

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 12:25 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - After another flare-up of the violent crime sweeping the region, authorities will look at ways to curb gangs that are blamed for much of the violence.

Georgia’s attorney general is coming to town on the heels of another violent weekend that included two slayings:

Although Richmond County has been the focus of a lot of the outbreak that emerged in the spring, it’s moving to outlying areas, like the latest killings.

The violence has even spread across the Savannah River, with two multiple homicides just outside Aiken – the shootings of two men at a Days Inn and of three teenagers on Wadley Drive – as well as the shooting death of a 65-year-old man outside North Augusta.

On the Georgia side, Attorney General Chris Carr on Tuesday hosted a Columbia County meeting of the Georgia Anti-Gang Network. The agenda for the coalition of local, state and federal agencies includes “new and ongoing efforts to fight criminal gang activity across the state,” according to Carr’s office.

The meeting came as Carr has gained the power to prosecute criminal gang activity statewide.

It also came as the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies have teamed up against gang crime with Operation GRACE, which includes roadblock checkpoints in targeted areas.

During a recent effort that involved two checkpoints, authorities made 29 arrests and seized 11 guns, 6 pounds of marijuana, 5.6 grams of cocaine, 67.8 grams of methamphetamine, 177 prescription pills.

After the rash of violence started emerging in spring, Roundtree was quick to blame gangs for at least part of the problem, saying: “We have plans for selected enforcement action to target those criminals who are participating in gangs and the associated gun violence and drug trafficking.”

RICHMOND COUNTY CRIME WAVE:

Operation GRACE as well as dozens of high-tech cameras in crime-prone areas have been some of the signs of that effort.

“This activity will continue until these gang members and their associates realize that the Sheriff’s Office will not rest until they stop or are put in jail,” Roundtree said at the time.

In addition to this past weekend’s killings, homicides and suspicious deaths across the CSRA include:

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