The Danville Police Department seized drugs and guns last month as part of an investigation into a shooting at the Astoria Hotel in north Danville.

According to search warrants filed in Danville Circuit Court, Zaccheus Jamar White, Monta Lamont Fitzgerald and Deactaveius Lamont Dillard were arrested and charged May 29 with possessing weapons and a variety of drugs. They were, warrants stated, suspected members of the 9 Trey Bloods criminal street gang.

Overall, approximately 49 grams of meth, 21 grams of cocaine, 4 grams of heroin and close to 21 grams of marijuana were seized — along with four pistols, one of which had been modified to fire fully automatically.

According to the three nearly identical warrants for the trio, dealing drugs is a "predicate act in relation to criminal street gang participation."

Lt. David Whitley said the amount of drugs taken from the three did not appear to be for personal use. The police department had dealt with the three before — interaction resulting in criminal charges.

In general, much of gang members' drug possession, Whitley said, can be traced farther up the food chain to larger-scale distributors. But rather than purchase the drugs, he said, gang members sometimes opt to "rip and run" — to steal from those higher-level traffickers. The drugs themselves are not made in Danville, but through a web of contacts and occasional robberies, make their way into the city.

"A lot of times... they are not dealing with criminal street gangs because they are concerned with being robbed," Whitley said. Meth is not being made in Danville, it is safe to say... It's coming from out of state or out of the country."

Warrants also identify Dillard, 19, as someone involved with distributing gang literature, rules and history. Many gangs build a mythos around themselves and spread their ideas, messages and influence — sometimes called "books of knowledge," or simply abbreviated "knowledge."

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