Surveillance leads cops to gang arrest

WINDER - Gang activity isn't relegated to urban centers and border towns.

In the Barrow County outpost of Bethlehem, population somewhere south of 1,000, authorities on Monday reportedly took down a known member of the "gangster disciples," a historically violent set with roots in Chicago's South Side.

Arrested in his Wilshire Lane home, Kenneth Lavon Jones, 34, is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and a parole violation.

A gang intelligence unit with the Barrow County Sheriff's Office received a tip about Jones' alleged affiliation with the gangster disciples. Deputies set up surveillance and interview witnesses before a SWAT team moved in early Monday morning.

Police found Jones in possession of a loaded .40 caliber pistol and marijuana, Sheriff's Office spokesman Investigator Matt Guthas said.

"Given the threat that criminal street gangs pose to the community, (the Sheriff's Office) has committed to rigorously pursuing gang members and gang-related activity," he said.

Gwinnett police assisted by providing a narcotics-sniffing K-9 unit, Guthas said.