Derrick (Big 38) Crumpton, the former boss of the Gangster Disciples in Tennessee, was slapped with a 27-year federal prison sentence for narcotics trafficking and racketeering last week in Memphis. If he had been convicted, he could have gotten life. The case was known as “Operation 38 Special.”

When Crumpton was arrested three years ago, he was second-in-command of the gang’s Tennessee operations, having handed over shot-calling duties to Byron (Lil’ Ghetto B) Purdy in the winter of 2015. The month before passing the reins and completing what authorities believe was a five-year run atop the Tennessee GDs, Crumpton extorted a Memphis area gang in exchange for preventing testimony at an upcoming trial, per court records.

The much-feared Gangster Disciples street gang was founded on the Southside of Chicago in the late 1960s, but in more recent years has spawned satellite factions in other major cities. Legendary Windy City crime lord Larry Hoover brought the gang to prominence and even though he’s been behind bars for almost a half-century, he remains a gangland folk hero.

The 35-year old Crumpton was indicted, along with 47 fellow “GDs” stretching across nine states in a sweeping 2016 RICO conspiracy case and pleaded guilty in March 2017. Purdy, 40, was convicted and handed a 30-year sentence in January 2018. He and Crumpton were identified as “Governor” and “Assistant Governor” respectively of the GDs Tennessee affairs in the sprawling indictment.

The case was split between jurisdictions in Tennessee and Georgia, with twin indictments dropping simultaneously in federal courts out of Memphis and Atlanta in May 2016. The Memphis branch of the probe was dubbed “Operation 38 Special” as a reference to Crumpton’s nickname and nabbed 16 Tennessee based GDs.

In the years preceding the bust, Crumpton, Purdy and their Memphis GDs began butting heads with GD national administrators in Illinois, according to the indictment. Crumpton and Purdy assigned a lieutenant of theirs, Demarcus (Trip) Crawford to assemble a hit squad and dispatch them to Chicago, per court records. What the outcome of the trip north turned out to be or if there even was one at all is unknown.

They tasked another lieutenant of theirs, Robert (Lil’ Mac Rob) Jones, to plant a flag for the GDs in Covington, Tennessee, according to court documents. Jones called a meeting of local drug crews in Covington shortly thereafter and declared the city “GD Land,” threatening to kill anybody who refused to get in line. Jones and Crawford were found guilty in the case as well.

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