After months of investigation, Columbus detectives have named a 19-year-old suspected leader of a generations-old Benning Drive-area street gang, according to court testimony.
Jakeith Robinson faced participation in criminal gang activity charges during a Thursday morning Recorder's Court hearing. The teen has previously been named in connection with a burglary ring police believe targeted more than two dozen homes in east and north Columbus.
Burglary and Theft Unit Detective Molly Davis said Thursday that Robinson has been investigated for his involvement in the 'Winston Squad' street gang for six months. The group, which also goes by 'Winston Gang,' is connected to multiple crimes including homicide, drug offenses, burglary and car theft, she told the court.
The gang, which derives its name from the Winston Road neighborhood it originated in, spans multiple generations, she said. Older members go by '1440,' referring to the Baker Village neighborhood on Benning Drive.
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Davis said members of the gang are active on social media, often posting daily declarations of devotion through Twitter and Facebook. It was through these postings that detectives were able to build the case against Robinson.
On March 27, Robinson is accused of using social media to set up meeting times for the street gang. He also made violent threats to an unnamed person on social media after that person claimed gang membership without Robinson's permission on April 27.
Robinson is also accused of claiming leadership in the group and posting videos of initiation fights, Davis said.
During Thursday's hearing, Judge Michael Joyner set a $10,000 bond on Robinson's charge.
Police are searching for Robinson's suspected associate, Antwann Barnes, in connection with Winston Squad activity. A sufficient description of Barnes was not immediately available. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Investigative Services at (706) 653-3400.
Officers ended a man-hunt for Robinson in January after he allegedly stole a neon red Dodge on his way to see the mother of his child, who was giving birth at St. Francis Hospital. He was charged with theft by taking motor vehicle and first degree burglary, and released the same day.
Robinson is one of ten suspects arrested in connection with a string of 2013 burglaries. The last member of the suspected burglary ring, 25-year-old Christopher Gilliam, was arrested March 24. Gilliam was charged burglary and violation of parole.
Gilliam's arrest came less than a week after the arrest of suspected cohort Delmorris Boyd. The 26-year-old suspect was arrested March 18 after a search warrant was conducted at a Victory Drive home.
On Nov. 6, police arrested Laquinton Robinson, 22, Rickey Henderson, 19, Jacobee Matthews, 20, Demon Moore, 20, and Emmanuel Williams, 18, after Veterans Parkway Econo Lodge managers reported a stolen grey Acura and Nissan Maxima in the parking lot.
Officers recovered flat screen TVs, Samsung and iPhone cellphones, a Playstation 3 and the keys to the grey Acura in the hotel rooms, according to earlier reports.
Wayman McMillian, 18, was arrested Dec. 4 after he sought treatment at the Midtown Medical Center for self-inflicted gunshot wounds to both legs. Police say McMillian crashed the stolen Maxima at an unnamed apartment complex downtown after leading police on a high speed chase on Nov. 6.
Georgia State Patrol arrested Alexander Streeter, 20, in Atlanta on Nov. 15 after he was shot by a trooper after a chase involving a stolen vehicle from Columbus. Streeter was paralyzed in the shooting.