Feds arrest 30 alleged gang members and associates

ATLANTA — Federal authorities in Atlanta said they' arrested 17 gang members and their associates on charges of racketeering conspiracy charges and related crimes.

A total of 30 members of the Nine Trey Gangster Bloods gang and their associates were indicted last week. U.S. Attorney Byung J. "BJay" Pak said in a news release Thursday that the charges stem from drug distribution and violent acts, mostly against the gang's own members.

The indictment charges some of the alleged gang members with a racketeering conspiracy, as well as multiple counts of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering. It also alleges a drug trafficking conspiracy, including trafficking methamphetamine, marijuana, prescription medications and heroin by gang members and their associates.


Bank robber doesn't get far

DALTON, GA. — A bank robber got away with some cash Thursday afternoon in Whitfield County, but not for long. Within moments of the robbery, Whitfield County deputies stopped the getaway car, arrested the driver and recovered what the sheriff's office called a large sum of money.

Capt. Rick Swiney of the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office said in a news release the robbery call came in at 10:44 a.m. for the Wells Fargo Bank at 2114 Cleveland Highway.

The robber waved a handgun at bank employees and customers and demanded cash. He left the bank and was seen getting into a gold Ford Explorer "Sport Track" and traveling east on Dawnville Road. Swiney said Deputy Beth Gomez was in the area of Dawnville Road and Highway 286 and met a similar vehicle, so she turned around and made a traffic stop. The suspect attempted to run but was tackled and taken into custody, Swiney said. Officers found the money in the floor and recovered a handgun as well, he said.

The suspect, James Gilbert Crick, 61, of Presley Road in Dalton, has been charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and 12 counts of aggravated assault for pointing the firearm at bank customers and employees.

Swiney said the FBI is assisting in the investigation.


Community criticizes university action on sex assault

MEMPHIS — In the wake of two reported off-campus rapes involving students at the University of Memphis, students and alumni challenged and criticized the university's administration at a sexual assault forum.

The Commercial Appeal reports over 100 people attended Wednesday's campus forum, which saw a line of people waiting to speak when President David Rudd called to an end after two hours.

Attendees questioned why a student charged with rape and sexual battery remained on campus. Rudd said he couldn't comment on specifics, but told the audience that the university has taken repeated action behind the scenes over the past few years.

Rudd said he wanted cases to be prosecuted criminally. He also said removing students from campus was complicated by the district attorney's office not necessarily providing evidence to the university in pending criminal cases.


Mother charged in 2016 death of 6-month-old son

NASHVILLE — A woman faces a felony murder charge in her 6-month-old son's death.

Nashville police say Shalonda Pettus, 24, was taken into custody Wednesday evening on charges related to the death of her son, Roydale Holt. She's being held in lieu of a $75,000 bond.

Police said that in October 2016, Pettus brought the unresponsive boy to General Hospital, where he died that day. The medical examiner concluded the child died of probable asphyxia.

Police investigators found drug paraphernalia, baby bottles, clothes, medicine and a plastic bag in the bed where the child was reportedly sleeping before he was brought to the hospital. Police said those conditions are believed to have had a role in his death.

It wasn't immediately clear if Pettus has an attorney.