Feds say 83 gang leaders, members arrested in 5-state raid


John Strong, the Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte FBI office said some 600 agents and local and state law enforcement officers were out at dawn making the arrests in one of the largest operations if its kind in recent memory.

Seventy-three of those named in the indictments were in North Carolina, with smaller groups rounded up in South Carolina, New York and Florida.

Three more people were arrested in part of a gang take-down operation that spanned across the east coast.

Two dozen of the 83 people were already incarcerated in North Carolina and three are incarcerated in NY.

Twenty four of the suspects arrested Thursday were in Charlotte, more than any other location.

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The indictment also alleges illegal activity as far away as the Florida panhandle and the NY prison system.

Authorities said 83 United Blood Nation members were charged in the 163-page indictment, the largest single indictment in the history of the North Carolina Western District. There was a noticeable extra police presence. U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose said the crackdown should serve as a warning to others.

Those named in the indictment include suspects already in jail on state charges and at least one person now living in Liberia. "It tell me that this is a gang that will kill people if they cooperate".

Prosecutors say gang members engaged in racketeering activity, including murder, attempted murder, narcotics distribution and firearms possession.

The gang has rules of conduct, codes and colors of communication, and membership requirements that include something called a "beat in", during which perspective members are beaten by the gang for 31 seconds.