Attorney Dan Sammons asked his client’s mother: Is Terry Jerome Maddox a rapper or a drug boss?
“My son is a rap artist, and he’s a very good, talented (man),” Landa Maddox said.
Terry Maddox, 28, Orlando Jasmaine Maddox, 27, and Gabriel Williams Jr., 27, all of Gainesville, appeared in Magistrate Court Monday for a probable cause hearing, after being arrested on theft and synthetic marijuana distribution charges three weeks ago. The cases were forwarded on to Superior Court, where they will await indictment.
Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad Lt. Scott Ware testified at the hearing about the house where the drugs and a stolen gun were found and information gathered on Money Gang, of which the men are suspected of being a part.
Inside the Patterson Drive residence, Ware said, were four cellphones found in the living room, three bags of synthetic marijuana, sandwich bags and a 9 mm Smith and Wesson handgun on the kitchen floor. The letters “MG” had been sprayed on a wall.
“This is commonly referred to as a trap house,” he said, referring to a place where drugs are sold.
There were issues, Ware said, regarding power and plumbing at the time of the search.
“In my opinion, the place wasn’t livable,” Ware said.
Investigators also found a camouflage ballistic vest as well as hundreds of CD inserts titled “Money Gang Presents.” The vest, Ware said, looked too small to fit any of the defendants.
Ware, having offered Williams a Perrier water with lime, was reading a magazine, he said, when Williams started discussing the situation. The conversation, he said, was without the reading of Miranda rights.
“I was participating in a conversation which he initiated,” Ware said when cross-examined by Williams’ attorney Craig Pake.
Ware said he was told Terry Maddox was Williams’ boss. Ware was sent information from a parole officer about Facebook posts under a pseudonym.
“This Angel was Gabriel Williams. They all sold synthetic marijuana together on Patterson Drive,” Ware said.
The MANS lieutenant referenced two rap videos that allude to selling drugs and other criminal activity — “Big Money Talking” and “Grams” — both featuring Terry Maddox, nicknamed “Big Work.”
“I ain’t got to shoot you. I got goons to do it for me,” Ware read from the lyrics to “Big Money Talking.”
All three men were charged with possession of synthetic marijuana with the intent to distribute and theft by receiving in connection with the pistol, according to warrants.
Terry Maddox was also charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and Orlando Maddox was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Orlando Maddox’s convicted felon firearm possession charge arose from his prior conviction for possession of cocaine, pleading guilty to the charge in 2011. Orlando Maddox’s sentence was 10 years, with 12 months to be served in confinement.
Warrants were also signed for all three men in connection with violation of the Georgia Street Gang and Terrorism Prevention Act, allegedly being “associated with a criminal street gang ... MG (Money Gang) through the commission of theft/receiving firearm and possession of synthetic marijuana with intent to distribute.”
Landa Maddox approached the witness stand wearing a T-shirt with “Big Work Big Money Talking” printed on the front, with the group’s social media printed on the back.
Maddox’s mother told the court Terry Maddox had been working with a producer in Atlanta
and performed in a group
Although some of the lyrics dealt with potentially felonious activity, Landa Maddox said the group also raps about women and cars.
“They rap about what sells,” she said.
In closing statements, Sammons said the district attorney’s office took a “twisted and cynical” view of the events to suspect criminal activity.
“Being in a hypothetical video is not the same as committing a crime,” Pake said.