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Bloods member in gang that ‘terrorized’ Raleigh sentenced for drug trafficking

·2 min read

A Wake Forest man and high-ranking member of a local Bloods gang was sentenced Friday for possessing and trafficking crystal methamphetamine.

Derek Louis Griffis, 33, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and distributing at least five grams of methamphetamine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina said in a news release.

Griffis was also sentenced to two consecutive years in prison for violating the terms of his federal supervised release for a previous federal conviction, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Griffis was a high-ranking member of the Black Mob Gangstas, a division of the Bloods street gang that “terrorized” southeast Raleigh for years under the leadership of Demetrice Regus Devine, also known as “Respect.”

Devine and four other Black Mob Gangstas members were named in a 12-count indictment in September 2017 which included charges of murder, conspiracy to participate in racketeering and witness tampering, among other crimes.

Devine was later convicted on murder, racketeering and witness tampering charges, and in May 2020, he received four consecutive life sentences, along with 20 years in prison.

Marijuana, handgun, ammunition

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Griffis was on supervised federal release for his prior conviction in December 2019 when members of the Raleigh Police Department determined that he was selling crystal methamphetamine.

Between then and January 2020, law enforcement officials proceeded to make several “controlled purchases of highly pure crystal methamphetamine” from Griffis, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

On Jan. 31, 2020, Wake Forest police responded to a call of an armed man at Ligon Mill Road and Burlington Mills Road in Wake Forest.

They found Griffis near a vehicle his girlfriend was sitting in, and then saw him walk toward a wooded area, where he tried to hide crystal methamphetamine and a digital scale, according to the release.

When officers obtained a warrant and searched the house of Griffis’ girlfriend, they found marijuana, as well as 26 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

A loaded 9mm firearm was then found near the same Ligon Mill Road intersection. The gun was determined to have been purchased by Griffis’ girlfriend, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

The investigation into Griffis was conducted by the Raleigh and Wake Forest Police Departments, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Griffis was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott A. Lemmon.

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