ALBANY, Ga. — The trial for two of the more than 50 accused gang members with charges filed against them as part of “Operation Shock” is under way.
Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Courtney Hicks and Jermaine Harrison. They were among the 10 suspects arrested in August, joining the others already incarcerated who authorities say are with the Crips street gang.
In all, 54 people have charged with racketeering in connection to the sweep that was spearheaded by the Albany Police Department Gang Unit. The suspects range from ages 17 to 33 and make up the core of the Crips gang, authorities have said.
The operation took 13 months of planning, intelligence gathering and execution. Its aftermath resulted in threats issued against the APD in the forms of phone calls and gunfire.
Several days after the arrests, there were six gang members placed in jail on charges of street gang activity, aggravated assault against an officer and other charges in connection to shots being fired at an APD officer on East Residence Avenue.
Charges based on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act statutes are being added to underlying charges against the suspected Crips members, including rape, aggravated assault and armed robbery. Racketeering can add 25 years on top of an underlying sentence.
Under the statutes, a member of a gang is criminally responsible for whatever criminal activity members of his gang execute in furtherance of the group’s interests.
Jury selection began at 10 a.m. Monday and is expected to resume at 9 a.m. today.