It is said that one cannot serve two masters. However, a former police officer from Georgia managed to achieve the feat in a rather bizarre mannerâserving the law, and as well as going against it and doubling as a gangster. For this, Vancito Gumbs, a former DeKalb County police officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old from Stone Mountain, Georgia is said to have been a member of the notorious street gang, Gangster Disciples, and claimed to be a "hitman" for the gang while he served as a police officer. Evidence established that Gumbs had communicated sensitive police information to the gang and had also equipped a fellow gang member with a firearm. Along with the 15-year prison term for racketeering conspiracy involving murder, Gumbs has also been sentenced to five years of supervised release.
A Ruthless Street Gang
Gangster Disciples is a street gang that was formed in 1968 in Chicago. Its membership comprises predominantly of African Americans. Though the gang traces its origins to the South Side of Chicago, it has a nationwide presence now and is believed to have over 50,000 members across the US. The organizational structure of the gang is highly rigid, which has a hierarchy of leadership positions called "Positions of Authority" or "POAs".
According to information presented in court, the enforcement of the gang's rules among members is strict. One rule in particularâ"Silence and Secrecy"âis resolutely enforced within the ranks. It is the blanket prohibition or ban on cooperating with law enforcement. A violation of the rule has only one punishment: death. Along with a wide range of crimes, the gang also engages in the commission of murders. It was this gang that Gumbs was found to be a member of.
A Gangster Cop
The evidence presented at Gumbs trial revealed that the Gangster Disciples were solely responsible for 24 shootings from 2011 through 2015. Of these, 12 were murders. Gumbs had been photographed while flashing hand signs that are used by the gang. He was also a self-proclaimed "hitman" for the gang while he served as a police officer with the DeKalb County.
While in the employ of the DeKalb County police, federal agents caught Gumbs in the acts using recorded phone calls between him and the "Chief Enforcer" for the Georgia Gangster Disciples. It was also discovered that during these phone calls, Gumbs transmitted sensitive law enforcement information to the gang and even provided a firearm to a gang member.
In later calls, the "Chief Enforcer" was found stating that he had "Gangster Disciples police officers" at his beck and call. During the trial, the jury found that Gumbs had participated or remained in the loop of racketeering conspiracies; being aware and agreeing that the gang carried out murders.