48 members and associates of Black Guerilla Family gang indicted

Baltimore Police Department 48 members and associates of Black Guerilla Family gang indictedBALTIMORE – Concluding a three-month collaborative investigation, a Baltimore City Grand Jury handed down indictments yesterday against 48 members and associates of the notorious Black Guerilla Family’s Greenmount Regime, charging them for their respective roles in a lengthy campaign of violence and drug trafficking.

The investigation, indictments, and resulting arrests were the product of a collaborative initiative by the Baltimore Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Major Investigations Unit of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office.

Thirty-eight of the 48 defendants are charged with taking part in a gang conspiracy and violating the gang law. Seven are charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing eight victims. Five defendants are charged for six alleged non-fatal shootings.

The gang charges were brought under Maryland’s 2007 gang statute prohibiting individuals from participating in a criminal gang organized for the purpose of engaging in a pattern of criminal activity. The maximum penalty for individuals convicted under the statute is 20 years, which must be served consecutively to any sentence imposed for a conviction on any underlying offense.

“For us, within our organization, they are our target,” said Baltimore City Police Commissioner, Anthony Batts. “This is where we start destabilizing them. This is where we start cutting the head off of this organized group and bringing them to justice.”

To build a complete case against the BGF regime, law enforcement had to establish the connections between the defendants, their gang set, their victims, and their narcotics enterprise for a period of roughly eight years.

The leaders of each set of the gang are responsible for, among other things:

- Recruiting and admitting new members;
- Collecting dues from members
- Extracting “taxes” from rival drug operations selling drugs in their territory;
- Maintaining discipline;
- Punishing or sanctioning members who fail to adhere to the code of the gang;
- Providing financial support such as bail for fellow gang members who are incarcerated; and bribing, threatening, intimidating, and, if necessary, killing witnesses and potential witnesses who may testify in prosecutions against fellow gang members.

Around 2005, one such BGF regime, called the Young Guerilla Family, developed in the area of the Greenmount Cemetery. From its earliest days, YGF members used violence to establish their dominance and maintain control of their territory. Their victims include rival drug dealers, members of rival gangs, members of their own criminal organization who violated the gang’s code or were believed to be cooperating with law enforcement, and witnesses who provided information to police in cases involving BGF gang members.

CHRONOLOGY

July 20, 2005: David Hunter murdered Dante Jordan in the 200 block of E. 22nd Street. Moments before the killing, Jordan demanded the return of his handgun and threatened retaliation against Hunter if he failed to deliver.
May 5, 2006: Hunter handed a firearm to Eric Tate, who proceeded to shoot fellow set member, Kevin Hodges, in the rear of 2244 Guilford Avenue because of internal gang strife.
July 27, 2006: Robert Jones shot Rakim Muhammad in the 300 block of E. 21st Street. Muhammad was a rival narcotics trafficker who sold drugs on YGF turf but refused to affiliate his operations with YGF or BGF.
September 10, 2006: Eric Tate struck again in the 300 block of E. 22nd Street, killing Adrian Holiday and Anthony Taylor for wearing red, the color of the Bloods gang, on territory claimed by YGF.
January 4, 2007: In the 300 block of E. 21st Street, Kenneth Jones and Charles Pace shot Antonio Oliver, a rival drug dealer, using a 9 mm handgun.
January 9, 2007: Jones and Pace killed Gregory Rochester inside the residence at 221 E. 25th Street, using the same gun that they used on Oliver. Redacted Name, in his capacity as a leader of the gang, authorized Rochester’s murder on grounds that he was cooperating with law enforcement against them.
February 19, 2007, in the 2300 block of Barclay Street, Pace was shot and killed.
August 2, 2007: Robert Jones and others shot and killed Keenan McCargo in the 3700 block of Lyndale Avenue.
August 12, 2007: Using the same .32 caliber semi-automatic handgun used to murder McCargo, Donnell Johnson, a YGF member, shot and killed Byron Dickey in the 2100 block of Barclay Street. Robert Jones subsequently threatened a witness significant to the State’s prosecution during Johnson’s trial.

The next fatal exchange served as the impetus for the just-concluded investigation that resulted in yesterday’s indictments.

In 2007, Naim King, a high-ranking member of the Baltimore Black Guerilla Family, invited YGF leaders and members to a meeting. King revealed that he was prepared to sponsor the strongest members of YGF to join BGF. YGF’s close-knit membership countered with an “all or nothing” merger, which King accepted. The original local organization retained its identity, leadership structure, and operations, but its members publicly called themselves members of BGF. New name; same violent business. The “Greenmount BGF” organization continued to distribute illegal narcotics, perpetrate violence, and engage in a pattern of criminal gang activity.

Naim King served as a kind of king-maker for the YGF crew. On October 31, 2007, in the 2400 block of Brentwood Avenue, King was killed by a man named Henry Mills. Loyal to King for sponsoring him, Hunter exacted revenge on June 14, 2011, killing Mills in the 2400 block of Greenmount Avenue.

The retaliatory murder of Mills did nothing to quell the violence.

May 9, 2008: Redacted Name lured Neil Davis into an ally in the 300 block of E. 22½ Street, where Kenneth Jones shot him.
February 26, 2009, in the 400 block of E. Lanvale Street, David Hunter shot four people — Charles Goodman, Vernon Smith, Christopher Horne, and Redacted Name. As he fired his gun, Hunter declared: “This is BGF territory.”
March 12, 2010: Byron Green murdered Donatello Fenner in the 2600 block of N. Calvert Street for violating the gang code.
March 21, 2010, in the 1900 block of Boone Street, Carlos Williams was killed by members of the criminal organization for opening a drug rehabilitation center in the area where the organization conducted its narcotics trafficking operations.
July 24, 2010: Joseph Bonds stabbed and killed Justin Kendricks in the 300 block of East Lafayette Avenue, presumably for his involvement in a previous assault on one of Bonds’ gang associates.
July 29, 2010: the individual who was with Justin Kendricks when he was fatally stabbed five days earlier was himself shot and killed in the 200 block of East Lafayette Avenue.
April 11, 2011: After accusing Perry Johnson of talking to the police, Kenneth Jones shot him.
March 23, 2013: Norman Handy robbed and shot Moses Malone in the 2400 block of Greenmount Avenue.
May 2, 2013: Wesley Brown, Norman Handy’s brother and fellow gang member, shot and killed Moses Malone in the 600 block of Cokesbury Avenue, believing he would testify against Handy for the robbery and shooting two months earlier. Redacted Name authorized the murder.
May 7, 2013: Trevon White, who tipped off Wesley Brown about Moses Malone’s whereabouts shortly before Malone’s murder, was shot and killed in the 200 block of E. 22nd Street.
June 8, 2013: Montel Harvey shot Lamarr Tucker following a disagreement between the victim and one of Harvey’s fellow BGF members, Wesley Brown, on a night when members of the criminal organization had converged at a downtown nightclub in the area of 300 West Fayette Street to celebrate the birthdays of Brown and Redacted Name.
October 4, 2013: Kenneth Jones shot Lamontae Smith in the 300 block of 24th Street.

“This investigation and resulting prosecution represents something of a sea change in the way my office investigates and prosecutes cases. Rather than simply reacting to a crime and subsequent arrest, we have employed sophisticated investigative techniques to build historical cases against the BGF gang, which has terrorized segments of our city with acts of violence and other criminal activity. Rather than simply prosecuting one-off cases against individual gang members, this sweeping indictment against 48 BGF members and associates hopefully will strike a major blow in their organization,” State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein said. “It is also significant to note that we were able to complete this investigation and indict and arrest these defendants in literally a matter of months, which is a reflection of the commitment of our Office, particularly the members of MIU, and our law enforcement partners at BPD and ATF to using all of the resources at our disposal to rid the streets of Baltimore of these violent criminals.”

Bernstein added, “There is no more important job than protecting our citizens from harm and ridding our neighborhoods of violence and drug trafficking. I am gratified that with this aggressive initiative, we have taken a significant step forward to a safer Baltimore.”

“I am confident that ATF’s participation in the successful execution of more than 48 arrest warrants and 16 search warrants made a significant impact on violent crime in Baltimore City, and specifically the Greenmount community. ATF will continue to partner with MIU, Baltimore City Police, and other law enforcement agencies in order to bring violent criminals to justice,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Steven L. Gerido, ATF Baltimore Field Division.

DEFENDANTS

The defendants are listed in alphabetical order below along with the charges that each of them faces.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.

Joseph Bonds: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and first-degree murder.

Redacted Name: misdemeanant in possession of a firearm and transfer of a firearm to a minor.

Wesley Brown: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and first-degree murder.

Russell Carrington: gang conspiracy and gang law violation.

James Cornish: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and drug wire conspiracy.

Warren Commodore: gang conspiracy and gang law violation.

Redacted Name: drug wire conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Redacted Name: conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Sharieef Dupree: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy and gang law violation.

Kenneth Faison: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, assault, and robbery.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy and gang law violation.

Dedrick Garrison: drug wire conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Ira Garrison: drug wire conspiracy.

Byron Green: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and first-degree murder.

Shawn Gregg: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, first-degree assault, and robbery.

Norman Handy: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and attempted first-degree murder.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy and gang law violation.

Montell Harvey: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and assault.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and cocaine distribution.

Carlos Holmes: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and drug wire conspiracy.

Anthony Hunter: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, conspiracy to rob, and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

David Hunter: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and two counts of first-degree murder.

Travon Jefferson: gang conspiracy and gang law violation.

Martin Jenkins: drug wire conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, drug wire conspiracy, conspiracy to rob, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and NFS (first-degree attempted murder?).

Kenneth Jones: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, first-degree murder, three counts of NFS (first-degree attempted murder?), conspiracy to obstruct justice, and conspiracy to interfere with a witness.

Robert Jones: gang conspiracy, gang law violation first-degree murder, and first-degree attempted murder.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and distribution of cocaine with a minor.

Kashif Kittrell: gang conspiracy and gang law violation.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy and gang law violation.

Marquise McCants: gang conspiracy and gang law violation.

William McClaren: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and drug wire conspiracy.

Redacted Name: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

Michael Robinson: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and conspiracy to interfere with a witness.

Redacted Name: drug wire conspiracy.

Redacted Name: possession with intent to distribute heroin.

Eric Tate: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and first-degree murder.

Jessie Tate: gang conspiracy and gang law violation.

Tavon Thompson: gang conspiracy and gang law violation.

Henry Walker: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

Paul Wilson: gang conspiracy, gang law violation, and drug wire conspiracy.

Tyrone Wilson: drug wire conspiracy.

Bria Wright: minor in possession of a firearm and wearing, carrying, and transporting a firearm.

The Major Investigations Unit is responsible for the prosecution of this case.

 

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