DA Mosley credits her investigators with cracking the case
1:57 p.m.: ADDS Mosley comments on investigation by her office; says more indictments coming; size of case “might look like the YSL [case in Atlanta]”
2:42 p.m.: ADDS Mosley comment that CCSO “has been cooperating” with investigation
7:56 p.m.: ADDS Mosley press release; Assistant DA Evan Hansinger coordinated investigation; Superior Court Judge Robert Mack assigned case.
A Clayton County grand jury has returned a true bill against 64 detainees and a former security specialist at the Clayton County Jail in an alleged RICO conspiracy between September 14, 2021 and January 30, 2023. District Attorney Tasha Mosley says more indictments are coming.
The case has been assigned to Clayton County Superior Court Judge Robert Mack:
The Clayton Crescent has left a voicemail asking Interim Sheriff Levon Allen to comment directly and will add his response should he reply directly.
The alleged crimes took place under the administrations of now-retired Acting Sheriff Roland Boehrer and Interim Sheriff Levon Allen. Neither Boehrer nor Allen were charged in the indictment:
According to the indictment, which The Clayton Crescent obtained Thursday morning, the defendants allegedly exercised “a sphere of control and influence over the Clayton County Jail through acts of racketeering activity including kidnapping, assault, arson, and threats of violence.”
The indictment alleges dozens of pretrial detainees extorted others through contraband phones by demanding CashApp payments, and that they also beat, stabbed, and kidnapped victims within the jail.
One victim allegedly lost a lung and an eye. Another allegedly lost the use of a finger. Another allegedly had his “dental jewelry” stolen. Another allegedly lost the use of one ankle. Another’s head allegedly was “severely disfigured.” Another allegedly lost a tooth. Another allegedly was beaten so badly, “his vertebra [was] seriously disfigured.” Several detainees were allegedly beaten and stabbed with shanks.
The indictment also alleges the defendants, “some of whom are associated with various criminal street gangs including but not limited to the Bloods, Crips, and Gangster Disciples,” had formed “alliances with other inmates, who were ready and willing to preserve, protect, and enhance the power of the enterprise through the use of violence” to obtain “money, weapons, and drugs through acts of racketeering activity, including extortion, crossing guard lines with narcotics, and bribery.” The indictment alleges they did this with the help of people outside the jail “to facilitate CashApp transactions for the extortion of United States currency and [to] facilitate the procurement of contraband.”
One defendant named in the indictment, Sergion Williams, was a security specialist for the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department. On October 12, 2022, Williams is alleged to have taken a bribe via CashApp “with the purpose of influencing him to bring contraband to the jail, an act related to a function of his employment.” Williams also is charged with giving contraband playing cards to an inmate the same day.
In October 2022, according to WSB’s Tom Jones, “A warrant indicates he charged the pretrial detainees $32 for a deck of cards. The inmates said he took $500 from them, but never provided lighters, marijuana and black and mild cigars.”
According to the county’s job description for the position, Williams would have been in charge of opening doors and gates for inmate movement inside the jail, checking IDs for entry to secure areas, monitoring radio traffic and security cameras, alerting sworn personnel of emergencies or security threats, and serving as a point of communications in an emergency.
Open Payroll, a website that aggregates public employees’ salaries, indicates that Williams made $15.46 cents an hour in this key position.
Inmates allegedly were in possession of other contraband: marijuana, including in distribution quantities; shanks; cell phones; and cigarettes.
The indictment breaks down each alleged “overt act” by an “on or about” date. All of the following descriptions are of alleged acts and the defendants are—by law— considered innocent until and unless proven guilty in court:
March 14, 2021: Frederick Freeman allegedly sent a kiosk message to Richard Jackson that he “…might need a 50 cashapp for some to smoke…”
March 16, 2021: a kiosk message from Demetric Pompey’s account to Jackson allegedly asked for “…red number when you can…”. Jackson allegedly replied with a phone number for Destiny Jones.
October 9, 2021: Freeman, Jackson, Jones, Pompey, Marcus Bridges, and Lorenzo Roberts allegedly kidnapped Antonio Jackson and took him to another cell in the jail, then forced him to call his girlfriend, Diarah Ramsey to CashApp money to Jones’ account. Bridges allegedly told another defendant, Arraybia Wilson, to “request 125 from [Jones’] number.”
October 10, 2021: Freeman allegedly sent messages from the inmate kiosk to Jones, “telling her to put $80 on Defendant Travaughn Gordon’s account and $75 on Defendants Donovan Reese [sic] and Lorenzo Roberts’ accounts.” Reece’s information was used to send a message from the inmate kiosk to Birtafhia Reece’s phone number, allegedly to request $75 from CashApp for “rider,” meaning Freeman, from Jones’ CashApp. Messages allegedly from Pompey’s, Braylen Staples’, and Shamarion Felix’s inmate kiosk accounts to “various individuals” requested $75 from Jones’ CashApp. $75 went to Pompey and $125 went to Wilson, allegedly from Jones’ CashApp.
October 11, 2021: Freeman allegedly sent a message to Jones, telling her to send $750 to Sharon Smith, the mother of codefendant Jimmie Bellvie.
October 13, 2021: Bridges allegedly messaged Wilson that “someone would be transferring funds to her CashApp account and…to forward the funds to another individual.”
October 28, 2021: Jones allegedly CashApped $75 to Janice Gordon Clarke.
November 12, 2021: Freeman allegedly used the inmate kiosk to message two people, telling one to send $125 to Smith’s CashApp “for rider” and the other to send $275 to Smith “for rider.”
November 25, 2021: Bridges used the inmate kiosk, allegedly sending a message to a phone number that someone would ask them to send $135, and that Bridges would send them $400 to keep.
December 3, 2021: Deon Gaines allegedly sent a message through the inmate kiosk telling someone to send $450 to Smith’s CashApp.
December 17, 2021: Jermaine Johnson allegedly CashApped $200 to Clarke.
December 23, 2021: Clark allegedly CashApped $300 to Camillia Head, “a relative of” Freeman.
December 31, 2021: Defendants Tariq Abdussaboor, Tyquarius Bell, Freeman, Gaines, Justin Lane, and Beau Mosley allegedly falsely imprisoned another detainee, Jerry Wilkerson, and beat him, “striking him in the face and torso, thereby causing visible injuries.”
January 1, 2022: Defendants Jamal Bryant, Keyon Calhoun, Ramon Franklin, Jalen Freeman, Jaileak Jenkins, Jairus Ming-Scraders, and Frederick Robinson allegedly beat and stabbed another detainee, Marquino Davenport, “striking him in the face, thereby ca using visible bodily harm, swelling around his eye.”
February 7, 2022: Jamie Turk allegedly messaged Freeman “stating that he has ‘156 on cash app.'”
April 3, 2022: Defendant Travaughn Gordon allegedly messaged Sterline Boulin “to send a CashApp request to Defendant Jermaine Johnson.”
April 11, 2022: Johnson allegedly CashApped $90 to Clarke.
April 22, 2022: Freeman allegedly texted someone outside the jail “to request/send money to Defendant Jermaine Johnson and advised, ‘[D]is my patna maduues she gon put it on my bookz.'”
April 24, 2022: Johnson allegedly CashApped $50 to Clarke.
April 28, 2022: Freeman’s CashApp account allegedly sent money to Makayla Pace’s CashApp account.
April 30, 2022: Bell, Jaidin Booker, Kentavious Brown, and Jaymon Marigny allegedly set fire to Housing Unit 7 “while it was occupied by other inmates, circumstances making it reasonably foreseeable that human life might be endangered.” Bell allegedly messaged Pace’s phone number, telling her to CashApp $75 to Johnson.
May 3, 2022: Johnson allegedly CashApped $50 to Clarke.
May 7, 2022: Defendants Felix, Freeman, Johnson, Joshua Shubrich, Jamie Turk, and Caitlyn Williams allegedly extorted Janice Robinson by threatening to hurt detainee Marvin Walker if she did not CashApp Johnson and an account in Freeman’s name “operated by Jamie Turk.” They also allegedly assaulted Walker “with a sharp object.” Shubrich allegedly called Caitlyn Williams, “asking her if she had received a CashApp for $1,300 and then instructing her to send a CashApp for $600” to Clarke.
May 9, 2022: Johnson allegedly CashApped $50 to Clarke.
May 12, 2022: Johnson allegedly CashApped $100 to Clarke.
June 3, 2022: Defendants Jason Currie, Felix, Demozeo Holliday, Jenkins, Beldon Sparks, and Derrell Williams allegedly beat up another detainee, Dustin Ramey, “rendering his finger useless,” “striking him in the face thereby causing…a laceration,” and “assaulting him with a sharp object.”
July 8, 2022: Freeman, Gordon, and Staple allegedly assaulted Deandre Hart “with a sharp object.” (The following week, The Clayton Crescent reported that CCSO social media manager Carl Johnson had posted photos of the blood-smeared cell and bloody shanks seized in Hart’s stabbing to social media, despite claiming the records were still part of an investigation and thus not subject to state Open Records law, and despite the repeated requests of Hart’s mother, Tisha Hart, to speak with her mentally-ill son or to see photos of his injuries. Two other detainees, Jaylan Goodman and Demetrius Alexander, died over the next two weeks before CCSO released the incident report in Hart’s case.)
July 21, 2022: Felix allegedly got a message from Johnson’s number: “dafludoctor228 my cash.”
July 25, 2022: Bell and Franklin allegedly struck another detainee, Dominic Mackins, bruising his face, and “taking his dental jewelry.”
July 29, 2022: Defendants Michael Hollins, Jr. and Undre Turner allegedly struck another detainee, Quinn McFarlin, causing his face to swell.
July 31, 2022: Booker, Frederick Freeman, Jalen Freeman, and Staples allegedly attacked another detainee, Jurele McKnight, beating him with a trashcan, leaving bruises. and”rendering his ankle useless.”
August 16, 2022: Bell, Holliday, and Jahiem Martin allegedly beat another detainee, Christopher Franklin, bruising his face and back.
August 27, 2022: Bell, Kaleb Brown, Antonio Reeves, Daijon Tyes, Bobby Wiggins-Frazier, and Jerry Williams allegedly beat another detainee, Monterris Hudson, so badly that his head was “seriously disfigured.”
August 28, 2022: Bell and Brown allegedly kidnapped another detainee, Joshua Davis, striking him in the face and leaving lacerations.
August 29, 2022: Felix, Trejohn Parker, and Jerry Williams allegedly beat another detainee, Semaj Gay, lacerating his face.
September 7, 2022: Defendants Kentavious Brown, Jaheim Martin, Reeves, Shubrich, and Anthony Smith allegedly assaulted another detainee, Isaac Coller, “with a sharp object.”
October 12, 2022: Defendants Krystle Butler, Reese, and Sweatman allegedly bribed Sergion Williams—then a security specialist at the jail who was in charge of opening doors for inmates and watching security cameras—via CashApp “with the purpose of influencing him to bring contraband into the jail, an act related to the function of his employment.” Sergion Williams allegedly gave playing cards to Reese and Sweatmen, which were going for a reported $32 a pack at the time.
October 28, 2022: Freeman’s Instagram account allegedly “communicated with” defendant Talia Ousley’s Instagram account, “instructing her to purchase certain items, bolt cutters and a prepaid mobile phone, and bring them to the Clayton County Jail.”
October 30, 2022: Defendant Undre Turner was charged with possession of methamphetamine, marijuana, cigarettes, a cell phone, and a shank. Defendant Timothy Hurley was charged with possession of marijuana, a cell phone, and a shank.
December 8, 2022: Defendants Freeman and Quintavious Smith were charged with possession of a cell phone.
December 22, 2022: Reeves was charged with possession of marijuana.
December 25, 2022: Defendants Abdussaboor, Shun Almond, and Frederick Smith were charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
December 31, 2022: Defendants Bell, Tyrell Johnson, Aquannis Millette, Mosley, and Derek Thrash allegedly assaulted codefendant Abdussaboor with a shank, “rendering his lung useless.”
January 6, 2023: Reeves and Gaines were each charged with possessing a shank. Bell was charged with with possessing a cell phone.
January 10, 2023: Jenkins and Shubrich allegedly beat another detainee, Levar Gordon, knocking out his tooth and “rendering his vertebra seriously disfigured.” That same day, they allegedly held another detainee, Brandon Reeves, in a cell, “using a contraband phone to contact Reeves’ mother and girlfriend and threaten to physical[ly] harm Reeves if they did not send funds through CashApp.”
January 11, 2023: Freeman allegedly assaulted Abdussaboor with “a sharp object,” “rendering his eye useless.” Defendant Jason Currie was charged with possessing a cell phone.
January 17, 2023: Defendants Freeman and William Cottrell, Sr. allegedly covered a security camera in the jail, then joined Jeremy Badie, Fidel Garcia, Bradley Gaston, Timothy Hurley, Jaheim Martin, Michael, Reed, Staples, and Turner in stabbing another detainee, Syrrpauhl Watts. Cottrell, Freeman, Garcia, Reed, and Turner then allegedly tampered with evidence of the attack “by knowingly destroying physical evidence, clothing and blood evidence.”
January 18, 2023: Defendants Miles Obinali, Daijon Tyes, and Dequnn Watts allegedly assaulted another detainee, Jamal Baker, “with a sharp object.”
January 19, 2023: Shubrich was charged with possession of a cell phone.
January 20, 2023: Hollins was charged with possession of a cell phone.
January 25, 2023: Reeves and Gaines were each charged with possession of a shank. Bell, Tyes, and Hollins were each charged with possession of a cell phone.
January 30, 2023: Turner was charged with possession of a shank and cigarettes.
Mosley: Tuck, Busch built case
In response to The Clayton Crescent’s story, CCSO Social Media Manager Carl Johnson issued a Nixle post crediting Allen with the indictment presented by District Attorney Tasha Mosley and returned by the February 2023 Term grand jury:
“An extensive jail investigation (some undercover) ordered by the Clayton County Sheriff Levon Allen to clean up violence and contraband at the jail has resulted in over 100 arrests related to various crimes, to include: Crossing Guard Lines, Extortion, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, Kidnapping, Possession of Narcotics with the Intent to Distribute, Items Prohibited by inmates, Bribery, etc.
“After forwarding these charges to the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office, a 64 count indictment on the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (R.I.C.O.) has been obtained!
“This is just the beginning of cleaning up of the Clayton County Jail by the Sheriff to restore order and safety back as it was.”
But Mosley said that the Sheriff’s Office did not do the investigation.
Instead, Mosley told The Clayton Crescent, Senior Investigator Terry Tuck and Chief Investigator Brian Busch pieced together the investigation last fall after Tuck spotted patterns that led to the indictment.
And she says more are coming.
“There are crimes that were committed under Interim Sheriff Bohrer,” Mosley said. “There is a lapover with Interim Sheriff Allen. My investigators were the ones to catch that there was some RICO going on, that there was some cooperation between pretrial detainees in the crimes that they were committing back there. Terry Tuck was the main investigator, he’s one of the senior investigators, and he met with my chief investigator, Brian Busch. He [Tuck] was the first one to catch it, because basically, without going into any facts [of the case], the sheriff’s department did take out some warrants on some individuals. You go and pull, go through the clerk’s screen on some of these individuals, there will be warrants that the sheriff took out for new crimes. The rest of them, there are no warrants for the crimes that are alleged on this new indictment. So we will be seeking true bill bench warrants on those individuals, which is the majority of the individuals.”
Mosley continued, “But from those warrants, and information that came from loved ones and defense attorneys, Investigator Tuck took the lead, basically started going down the road and seeing where that evidence led him.”
That evidence, Mosley said, “a lot of times would branch off into, you know, another pretrial detainee that he didn’t know anything about, that there was no warrant on. And that would branch off into somebody else. So all of a sudden, it just kept growing and growing and growing, where you had these people working in concert with one another to commit these crimes. And so that’s how we got to 60-plus-some individual counts in that one indictment, but there’s also indictments that were handed out individually yesterday for crimes that pretrial detainees committed without the other ones knowing or participating in it.”
For example, “If Defendant A is in the big indictment, with the RICO and everything, but Defendant A also has charges—there’s some defendants that also have charges that were true-billed yesterday that they did alone and not in concert with other individuals.”
Mosley said the alleged criminal enterprise has been going on “probably a while.”
“If you think about it, individuals probably bonded out, or got convicted, shipped off to a prison, and we just don’t know what crimes they may have committed,” she said.
Mosley had no comment on whether the sheriff’s office had been doing its job.
“My lane is prosecution. That’s what I know how to do,” she said. “I don’t deal with the jail or sheriff. That’s not in my lane. I don’t know how to do that. That’s a question for Interim Sheriff Allen….I just know that, when you give me evidence of a crime, and there is a crime that has been committed, then I know how to prosecute said crime. And that’s what we have been given evidence of, we followed that evidence, we got to the parties that committed the crimes, we did the indictments, and we’re still investigating.”
Mosley said “there were definitely people on the outside that were helping” the pretrial detainees named as defendants.
“It’s gonna shut down a courtroom”
“Right now, we’re still investigating more incidents,” she said. “Like I said, loved ones, defense attorneys, the news have been reporting about incidents that we weren’t aware of. And so we’re looking into those incidents.”
Asked how she would handle prosecuting such a large case, Mosley replied, “I’ve never tried one this large. Each individual will have an attorney. And we will deal with each attorney individually. There might be some pleas, I don’t know. But each attorney will be spoken to, along with the victims in each matter, and we might, it might look like, the YSL, where [the number of] all the defendants might look like what’s going on in Atlanta that’s being tried at the same time. We might get to that point. Which is gonna shut down a courtroom, if you think about it. It’s going to shut down a courtroom.
“And understand—this is the first indictment. We’re expecting more.”
Asked whether there had been allegations of wider involvement with CCSO staff than the one employee named in the indictment, Mosley said, “I can’t say.”
She also said she did not know anything about unsubstantiated claims by several sources that Hill allegedly had told CCSO to relax security at the jail after he was suspended by Gov. Brian Kemp. The Clayton Crescent has not been able to verify those allegations independently.
“I know nothing about that,” Mosley said. “I’ve not—nobody has, you know, provided any evidence or anything like that. You hear a bunch of stuff, but I can’t go on, you know, rumors and suppositions. I’ve got to have hardcore facts.”
She said CCSO did cooperate with the DA’s office during the investigation.
“I will say this much, in recognition of giving the sheriff’s department credit. When my investigator has gone over and asked for incident reports dealing with these incidents and stuff, he has been given incident reports for the ones that have incident reports. They have been cooperating. I’m not going to say that they have not. They have been cooperating with the investigation….if we find he has a lead down here and they know about it, if they have any information, they have been cooperating.
“But a lot of this, the majority of it, has been my senior investigator, Terry Tuck, serving search warrants and stuff, and getting a lot, piecing a lot of this together himself.”
Asked by the AJC’s Leon Stafford whether Allen had put together the investigation and turned it over to the DA’s office, Mosley said, “No.”
Mosley described it as a “combination of the start. We know that they took out warrants on some individuals. If you go—if you guys have time, and go through each defendant, and see which ones have warrants, you will see what those warrants are for individual, like Defendant A and Defendant B and Defendant C, the sheriff’s department didn’t put together as being together committing these crimes.
“Defendant A had his warrant, Defendant B had his warrant, Defendant C had his warrant. It was us [the DA’s office] putting it together, and not every defendant that’s in the indictment has a warrant….Those individuals will have to receive a true bill bench warrant.
“My investigator Terry Tuck and Chief Busch, they’re the ones that realized, when they were looking at everything, it was like, ‘oh, boy.’ ‘Cause I remember that day when they called me into the meeting, they was like, ‘We got a problem.’ It was like, ‘Houston, we’ve got a problem.’ And they started laying it out. And the command was, ‘Go where the evidence leads you. Do what you need to do.’ And that was the latter part of 2022.”
“They’re not lying”
Some of that evidence came from family members of pretrial detainees who had been extorted for money and from their defense attorneys.
“I’m not gonna lie,” Mosley said. “The first time you hear somebody’s loved one says, you know, ‘So-and-so is being extorted in jail,’ you’re kind of like ‘Yeah, whatever,” you know—you kind of blow it off. And then, it was like, ‘Oh, boy. Ohhh. They’re not lying. And I think Channel 2 is the one where a couple of defense attorneys recorded pretrial detainees trying, you know, extorting people. There was—yeah.” She sighed. “it’s big.”
Mosley added she’s never seen a case this big in her 25 years as a prosecutor.
“I’ve been prosecuting since 1998,” Mosley said. “I started off in the Solicitor General’s office, and I’ve moved my way up the ranks. In all those years, I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this.”
At the solicitor general’s office, “we deal with misdemeanors. You’re used to getting stuff out of the jail, You’re used to inmates fighting. I remember back in the say they would rip, somebody might damage a [wired] phone, damage something in jail. But no. Other than the affrays [fights], the batteries that we get, I don’t. I became DA in 2019, October 2019, and from 2019 until 2022, when this started, I don’t recall this level, this level.
“I mean, you always—I’m not going to say that there’s never been any crime in jail, because that would be a lie, that detainees haven’t done something. Just never seen it this big.”
Mosley said it’s been “well over a year and a half” since she has set foot inside the jail.
“I would regularly go over to the jail, to either get some food, or to go work out, and my investigators stopped me from doing so,” she said. “For my safety.”
Previously, Mosley said, she and her investigators would use the second floor to go between the courthouse and the jail.
“But when my investigator was told that it was best for them to come around, go outside and come around [through the public entrance to the jail]….that was the day they told me, you know, ‘No more.’ And I was like, ‘Oh.’ I was like, ‘Okay.’ I trust them. If they tell me that they’re being told, ‘Don’t come that way because of safety issues,’ I’m gonna listen to them.”
Mosley: “My phone was blowing up”
But Mosley stopped short of calling the jail “lawless.”
“We are very careful about what we say,” she explained. “I am sure you know that there’s an election going on, and there’s no attempts to sway either way, so I am very careful about what I say and when I say. The only reason I am talking to you guys, to the media today, is my phone was blowing up. I was at the funeral of a dear friend and colleague [Judge Deborah Benefield], and during the service, my Apple Watch was just blowing up, and stuff was being said that was not completely 100% true, and I just needed to let the citizens know.”
“My guys have worked hard. I’ve seen the late nights, when I’m walking out and they’re still there. I was told about the weekends, you know, they’re sitting down and giving updates about how, you know, they worked on the weekends. I’ve seen multiple of my prosecutors going over this indictment to make sure that the correct charge gets charged to the correct defendant, and that the language is tracking a crime, and that we have gotten everything together. So resources from this office have been pulled to get this together, and it was a little shocking to be told about the Nixle, because honestly, I haven’t read it. I was more concerned about, you know, the funeral today….and honestly, I’m not going to. But I can’t let the hard work of my office, of individuals in my office, those investigators, those prosecutors, go unnoticed, and not sit there and not say ‘No, it started with them.’
“Yes, the sheriff’s department has been helpful when these investigators have asked for it, especially Terry Tuck. But it was him doing that hard work, that legwork, serving those subpoenas, search warrants, and getting the vital evidence or information that was needed.”
Mosley added, “It’s not over. It’s not over.”