BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Seven members of the "Big Money Block Boyz" group were arrested Friday morning during a multi-agency BRAVE initiative where six search warrants were executed simultaneously.
The initiative is an effort to eradicate "group-related" violence. The members of the group were arrested in East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish and Iberville Parish.
Along with the arrests, officers confiscated eight pounds of marijuana, more than a half pound of cocaine, two marijuana cigarettes, 13 firearms, six 30 round magazines, more than 100 rounds of ammunition and a bullet proof vest. Investigators also say two of the guns confiscated were reported stolen.
"If your group is targeted for its continuing violent acts, you and every member of your group will face our collective strength. We are committed and the community is committed," District Attorney Hillar Moore said in a news release.
Officials say the search warrants are a part of phase two of the BRAVE initiative. The BRAVE process began with a "call in" in April 2013 in which suspected members of various violent groups were given a warning to take back to their associates.
Community leaders gave participants three options:
*Seek BRAVE's assistance to leave group violence behind,
*Leave group violence behind without BRAVE's assistance, or
*Continue in violent activities and face the most serious of law enforcement actions
Officials say the "Big Money Block Boyz" is the first group to ignore the warnings. In early July 2013 several members of this group were arrested for numerous offenses.
"Law Enforcement is living up to its promises," explained Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie. "These group members have been brought in, warned, and are continuing to learn we are serious."
The following individuals were arrested:
Timothy Prater, 18, is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, illegal carry of a firearm with a controlled dangerous substance and possession of a stolen firearm.
Candice Wilson, 21, is charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Demarcus Smith, 22, is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and illegal carry of a firearm with a controlled dangerous substance.
Marcus Carter, 27, is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and various traffic warrants.
Marq Woodruff, 24, is charged with possession of stolen firearms.
Rasheedah Belony, 27, is charged with possession of marijuana. (Photo not provided)
Sherale Seals, 25, is charged with possession of marijuana. (Photo not provided)
The agencies involved in the roundup are: The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, Baton Rouge Police Department, Louisiana State Police, EBR District Attorney's Office, Violent Crime's Unit, Drug Enforcement Agency, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, FBI; U.S. Marshal's Service, Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office, West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office and National Guard Air Support.