Multi-Agency Gang Unit Prosecution Team

Paul Hagerman, Chief Prosecutor
The MGU Prosecution Team prosecutes homicide cases and other violent crimes associated with gang activity, specific targeted gang members or special cases assigned by the District Attorney General.
The MGU Prosecution Team applies a “vertical prosecution” approach in the criminal prosecution of gang members, associates and activities. The MGU Prosecution Team, working daily with the MGU Operations Team, utilize local ordinances, state laws and federal laws to hold offenders accountable.
The MGU Prosecution Team was formerly known as the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Gang & Narcotics Prosecution Unit. The unit was originally formed in 1996 to address the high volume of cases involving verified gang members. Annually, approximately 50% of the Unit’s caseload consists of homicide cases with the remaining 50% consisting of violent crimes such as aggravated robberies, kidnappings, rapes, criminal attempt murders and various narcotics cases.
The Multi-Agency Gang Unit
In July 2012, leaders of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies formed the first ever “Multi-Agency Gang Unit” (MGU) in the Western District of Tennessee.
The MGU is a joint effort of six (6) primary law enforcement agencies:
  • The United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • The Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office
  • The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
  • The Memphis Police Department
These agencies also work with other local law enforcement agencies with the collective aim of identifying and eradicating criminal gang activity in the region.
MGU's goal is to reduce the criminal activities of street gangs.
To achieve this goal, the MGU provides:
Immediate law enforcement response
The MGU Operations agents respond to crime scenes involving street gangs with local law enforcement. MGU detectives and agents work a long side local law enforcement and provide specialized investigative assistance and intelligence to local law enforcement.
Investigation of gang leaders and hard core members
As a specialized unit, the MGU uses various investigative techniques and methods to conduct long term investigations.
Targeted Criminal Gang Prosecution
MGU's Prosecution Unit (MGPU) is comprised of five (5) Shelby County Assistant District Attorneys and Assistant United States Attorneys' from the U.S. Attorney's Organized Crime Prosecution Task Force. These prosecutors review MGU investigations presented by the MGU Operations Team. 
On September 23, 2013, MGU successfully petitioned Shelby County General Sessions Court obtaining the first ever gang injunction. The petition was filed as prescribed under amendment to the state's nuisance laws enacted in 2009 which defined specific gang activities as constituting a public nuisance.
Prevention, Intervention, Education
The MGU will provide education and training for law enforcement, community organizations, schools, local businesses and correctional facilities regarding gang related issues. The MGU Board will seek out and partner with non-law enforcement agencies within the community to enhance collective efforts at gang crime prevention and intervention.
The MGU Board of Directors is comprised of:
  • United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee Larry Laurenzi
  • Michael Gavin, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Steven Gerido, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich
  • Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham
  • Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings
The MGU Advisory committee is presently comprised of representatives from various federal, state and local governmental agencies. The MGU Board of Directors can agree to add members to the Advisory Committee.
The MGU Operations Team Commander is Major Darren Goods,  Memphis Police Department Violent Crimes Unit Commander.