MARIETTA — A 5,000-plus member gang that originated in the Cobb County Jail was dealt a major blow on Tuesday after officials announced indictments and arrests against 23 members and associates of the gang, including three of the gang’s founders.

A 21-count indictment against 23 members of the Ghostface Gangsters was unsealed Tuesday, but of those, 20 were already in custody in either Georgia or federal prisons. The indictments range from accusations of drug trafficking — both inside and outside the prison system — to murder.

Of the 23 individuals indicted, 10 are from Cobb County.

“The public should understand that even though they primarily have been operating inside the federal prison (system), their violent and murderous criminal enterprise also operates in our neighborhoods,” said Byung J. “BJay” Pak, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. “During the last four years, Ghostface Gangster members allegedly shot at a dozen law enforcement officers. In those instances, gang members actually shot five officers and killed three of those law enforcement officers.”

Pak said the gang started in the Cobb jail in 2000 and has since spread throughout Georgia’s jails, prisons and elsewhere. There are more than 2,000 confirmed members incarcerated in the Georgia prison system, and law enforcement officials estimate the gang has about 5,000 members in Georgia and parts of Tennessee and Alabama.