According to a press release, Gumbs, who had been photographed flashing a hand sign used by the Gangster Disciples, was a self-professed “hitman” for the gang while serving as a police officer. While he was employed as a DeKalb County Police Officer, federal agents captured Gumbs on recorded phone calls with the “Chief Enforcer” for the Georgia Gangster Disciples. Evidence showed that during these calls, Gumbs relayed law enforcement information to the gang and provided a firearm to a fellow gang member. On later calls, the Chief Enforcer noted that he had Gangster Disciples police officers at his disposal.
“Vancito Gumbs moonlighted as a member of the Gangster Disciples while serving as a DeKalb County Police Officer,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “His brazen disregard for his sworn duty as a police officer, betrayal of the public’s trust, and disregard for human life warrants the significant sentence he received in this case.”
The Gangster Disciples are a national gang with roots in Chicago dating back to the 1970s. The gang is highly structured, with a hierarchy of leadership posts known as “Positions of Authority” or “POAs.” The gang strictly enforces rules for its members, the most important of which is “Silence and Secrecy” – a prohibition on cooperating with law enforcement. Violations of the rule are punishable by death. Evidence at trial showed that the Gangster Disciples were responsible for twenty-four shootings from 2011 through 2015, including twelve murders.
“It is reprehensible for a law enforcement officer sworn to serve and protect the public to instead serve a ruthless gang that has preyed upon, and threatened the well-being of the good people in his community,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Because of the efforts of the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force and its state and local partners, our community is safer and Gumbs is no longer a part of it.”