Vancito Gumbs is a former Georgia police officer who was sentenced to prison for gang-related charges, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
The 28-year-old claimed to be a “hitman” for the Gangster Disciples, a national gang stemming from Chicago, while working as a DeKalb County police officer, the department announced on Monday, November 16. Investigators say Gumbs relayed “sensitive law information” to gang members, as well as provided a firearm to one, the DOJ indicated in its online release.
A Stone Mountain resident, Gumbs was sentenced to 15 years in prison for racketeering conspiracy involving murder, the Justice Department said, followed by five years of supervised release.
“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,” said U.S. Attorney Byung Pak.
Chris Hacker, a special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, described Gumbs’ actions as “reprehensible,” according to a release from the Northern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“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,” he continued.
Federal agents say they recorded Gumbs’ phone conversations with the gang’s “Chief Enforcer” while he was serving on the police force, according to the DOJ release.
“On later calls, the Chief Enforcer noted that he had Gangster Disciples police officers at his disposal,” the DOJ stated.
Investigators accused Gumbs, an army veteran, of also “flashing a hand sign” used by the gang in a photo.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Gangster Disciples ‘Engaged in the Commission of Murders,’ According to the DOJ
The Gangster Disciples originated from Chicago in the 1970s, according to the DOJ release.
The gang follows a leadership hierarchy, called the “Positions of Authority” or “POAs,” and is “highly structured,” the department said.
“Silence and Secrecy” is the gang’s most enforced and “important” rule, prohibiting members from “cooperating with law enforcement,” the Justice Department disclosed. Rule violations are “punishable by death,” it continued.
Between 2011 and 2014, Gangster Disciples were responsible for 24 shootings and 12 murders, investigators said.
Prosecutors found that Gumbs “joined or remained” in the group “while knowing and agreeing that the gang engaged in murder,” according to the online press release.
Investigators Say Gumbs Referred to Himself as a ‘GD Hitman’
While working as a DeKalb County police officer, Gumbs sent a text message to a woman in 2015, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said, citing court documents.
The text said, “I’m a gd hitman,” according to AJC. FBI agents were monitoring Gumbs at the time on suspicion that he was a part of the Gangster Disciples, it continued.
Investigators knew “GD” was a “widely used abbreviation for Gangster Disciple,” AJC said.
Gumbs later told his attorney that “gd” meant “goddamn,” and that he was referring to his time in the Middle East, the outlet reported. His attorney told AJC that he was likely “trying to impress the woman.”
Gumbs Was Arrested a Day Before He Had a Mental Health Appointment With the Department of Veterans Affairs, Local Media Says
Gumbs moved from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Georgia when he was 15, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
He was deployed to the Middle East at 20, the outlet continued, where he helped get supplies to troops on the front lines. “He got in firefights, did things he didn’t want to do, things that would haunt him when he came home,” Gumbs mother told AJC.
In 2013, Gumbs joined the DeKalb County Police Department, The Journal said. He had been struggling with his mental health at the time, AJC disclosed.
“Before his arrest, he wasn’t sleeping or eating and was drinking to kill the pain,” the outlet wrote, citing his mother, Janelle Gumbs. “He resisted suggestions to get help with his mental turmoil.”
Gumbs eventually scheduled a mental health appointment with the Department of Veterans Affairs, but was arrested the day before, AJC said.
In 2019, Gumbs Was Accused of Assaulting a Man While on Duty
In 2019, Gumbs was accused of assaulting a man at an apartment complex in DeKalb County while on duty, AJC reported.
The veteran punched the man after mistaking him for a “rival gang member,” the victim told police, according to the outlet.
“At the time he assaulted my client, he was telling my client he was a Gangster Disciple,” Attorney Wayne Kendall expressed, AJC disclosed.
“All I know is he assaulted my client, broke his jaw and caused about $77,000 in medical bills — all while he’s handcuffed.”
Kendall sued the police force on behalf of his victim and settled for $190,000 from the county, according to The Journal.