CLARKE COUNTY, Ga. - The 31-year-old leader of the 1831 Piru Blood criminal street gang in Athens, Gregory O’Neal Wade, Jr. aka "Woop" aka "Big Homie" aka "OOG," and a co-conspirator, Johnathan Edward Brown aka "Zeus," pleaded guilty to federal fentanyl distribution charges this week, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for Middle District of Georgia.
A third man is still wanted by police.
The 1831 Piru Bloods are a set of the nationally affiliated Piru street gang, which originated in the 1960s in Compton, California. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the 1831 Piru Bloods engaged in numerous illegal acts involving drugs and firearms in the Athens-area, according to officials. The criminal street gang claimed two Athens apartment complexes as their territory—The Flats and Regency Park Apartments, referred to as "The Trenches" by gang members—and frequently sold guns and drugs from those locations.
As a result of a lengthy law enforcement investigation named Operation Tourniquet, agents executed a search warrant at Wade's apartment in July 2021.
Inside the apartment, officers found Brown and D’Angelo Caleb Perkins aka "Yak," 26, of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, who had been staying with Wade. Wade attempted to evade arrest by jumping out of a third-story window but he was apprehended by a police K-9 and his handler.
Officers found almost a kilogram of fentanyl, approximately 90 grams of cocaine and over eight pounds of marijuana during the search. In Wade’s bedroom dresser drawer, officers found a Glock 19 with an auto sear switch, a mechanism that converts a semi-automatic handgun into a fully automatic machine gun. In the same drawer, a 30-round extended magazine and a 50-round drum (high capacity) magazine was recovered. Officers found additional firearms, a "kilo press" used to compress illegal drugs purchased by Brown and a money counter in Wade’s apartment.
Wade admitted that he kept the machine gun as protection from those who might do him harm.
Wade pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl, one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl and one count of possession of an illegal machine gun. He faces a mandatory minimum of ten years up to a maximum sentence of life in prison to be followed by a maximum of five years of supervised release and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.
Brown pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl. Brown faces a mandatory minimum of ten years up to a maximum sentence of life in prison to be followed by a maximum of five years of supervised release and a maximum $1,000,000 fine.
Perkins remains at-large. Anyone with information regarding Perkins’ whereabouts is urged to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.