Since January 2019, Gwinnett County police have made 19 arrests and filed warrants for hundreds of charges pertaining to a California-based street gang the department announced Tuesday.
The Gwinnett Gang Task Force, a joint task force of detectives and officers from Gwinnett County Police Department and Sheriff’s Office, began to investigate the “59 Brims” Bloods street gang in January. Police said the gang began in the Ocean View Hills neighborhood in the southern section of San Diego.
Police said the gang has been active in Gwinnett County and the metro area for more than 10 years, committing crimes including pimping, prostitution, robbery, assaults, illegal gun sales, trafficking heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and murder.
“We will combat criminal street gang activity through aggressive enforcement of Georgia laws,” Major Cleo Atwater, commander of the Special Investigations Section, said. “We aim to educate the public about the dangers of joining and participating in criminal street gang activity.”
Police arrested 29-year-old Wonnawon Wonzon, who was identified as the Atlanta leader of the “59 Brims,” and other members of the gang’s leadership. Wonzon alone was charged for more than 30 different crimes.
Police said 34-year-old Marlin Smith — who went by the alias “Bandana” – was arrested as a result of the investigation and identified as the leader of the “59 Brims” in North Carolina and Virginia.
Police said, in July of 2019, the Gang Task Force identified Wonzon and four others as main targets — Sceon Skeffers, 29, Robert Lo, 28, Anthony Savage, 23, and Devery Dees, 24. Police said the investigation led to the identification and arrest of several other gang members, the seizure of 72.4 grams of fentanyl, 139 grams of heroin, 57.6 grams of cocaine, 44.6 grams of MDMA, 2,447 grams of meth and the recovery of 18 firearms (4 stolen).
Police arrested several other associates or active members of the “59 Brims” include Keion King (24), Brianne Froeliger (19), Isaiah Lo (23), Diamonique Dunning (24), Fred Yarweh (25), Melia Bennett (25), Yei Yearney (33), Renaldo Lawrence (38), Shunay Rawls (31), Gwendolyn Francies (60) and Timothy Thomas (27). Police said more arrests in connection with the gang are expected.
Chief Butch Ayers in a statement thanked the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, the Lawrenceville Police Department and the FBI for their continued support in this investigation in addressing criminal street gang activity in Gwinnett County.