The Re-Up Men and The Traps

Ever watch HBO's The Wire? No need now; just read this, a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office about nine alleged South Dallas gang members arrested on conspiracy, drug and firearms charges; 16 of their, ah, colleagues remain at large. Among the gangsters arrested by Dallas police and federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were guys nicknamed "Bigs," "Bo-Leg," "L.A." and "Gangsta," who law enforcement officials allege--in a 48-count federal indictment returned by a grand jury and unsealed Friday--have been making and selling crack in South Dallas since August 2003. They would buy powder cocaine, take it to several locations (called "traps") around South Dallas--including the Delta Plaza Apartments on Robert B. Cullum Avenue and an apartment on South Boulevard, among others--and cut, cook, package and distribute the stuff.

Law enforcement officials say the operation was run by the man known as "Bigs": Kenneth George Ebanks, who's 36. They say he's the one who rented the apartments, recruited the gang members to work the traps, hired the "re-up men" who delivered coke to the traps when supplies got low and brought in "cut men" to divvy up the supplies for resale. Police and federal agents also say they found handguns, shotguns and even machine guns in some of the traps.

If all of this sounds too much like a Young Jeezy song, it makes sense: The indictment also alleges that some of those named in the indictment took their crack profits and made CDs "glorifying the production and distribution of crack cocaine in the Dallas area and elsewhere." So-called "crack rap" or "coke rap" is a big player in NYC; guess it's made its way down here, like all fashionable things.

In the U.S. Attorney's press release, Ronnie Carter, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF, Dallas Division, said, "This shows, just like the previous gang arrests on Cymbal Street, we continue to work with the Dallas Police Department to fight gangs and violent crimes across the city. This is not the last one, as these investigations are ongoing and come to conclusions at different times." Cymbal Drive, that's something which we are familiar; read Jesse Hyde's piece on it here. Hey, Steve Blow called it riveting. --Robert Wilonsky