MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Federal prosecutors have arrested 16 people with ties to the Grape Street Crips gang on drug trafficking charges.
All 16 people are charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute methamphetamine. Some are also charged with possessing and distributing heroin, fentanyl, and ecstasy.
One was also charged with possessing firearms.
Fourteen of the people charged are from Memphis; one is from Jackson, Tennessee, and another is from the Los Angeles area. They range from ages 23 to 41.
- Travon Allen a/k/a “Little Y,” 30, Los Angeles, California
- Ozene Benson, 27, Memphis, Tennessee
- Vincent Boykin a/k/a “Veto,” 31, Memphis, Tennessee
- Antwan Brown, 31, Memphis, Tennessee
- Christopher Brown, 29, Memphis, Tennessee
- Lonnell Davis, 41, Memphis, Tennessee
- Clifton Graves, 35, Memphis, Tennessee
- Preston Hampton a/k/a “Grape da Shooter,” 26, Memphis, Tennessee
- Amber Howe, 31, Memphis, Tennessee
- Claude Cordell Irby, 23, Memphis, Tennessee
- Eddie Johnson a/k/a “Eddie Grape,” 36, Memphis, Tennessee
- Lapheal Johnson a/k/a “Peaches,” 25, Jackson, Tennessee
- Tionna Jones, 24, Memphis, Tennessee
- Terrell Kennedy, 34, Memphis, Tennessee
- Antonio Lurry, 37, Memphis, Tennessee
- Tarzell Worles a/k/a “Snugg,” 26, Memphis, Tennessee
"We're tired of the guns, and we're tired of the drugs," District Attorney Amy Weirich said.
Weirich said the gang has been on their radar from some time. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms discovered the gang’s operations last year when they were investigating a shooting. Prosecutors were able to make the arrests under Operation Grapes of Wrath on July 25.
U.S. Attorney Mike Dunavant said the drug trafficking was operating out of the Nutbush and South Memphis neighborhoods.
"They don't care if they make money off the pain and suffering of other people," Dunavant said. "And there's a reckoning for that."
If convicted on the meth charge, each person charge faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. That’s in addition to any conviction for additional charges.
The arrests make 34 total arrests of gang members within a week’s time. Last week, Dunavant announced the indictments of 18 accused gang members of the ‘Fast Cash’ gang.