Baltimore, Maryland –A federal jury has convicted three defendants for conspiring to participate in a violent racketeering enterprise known as the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang’s Greenmount Avenue Regime.
- Gerald Thomas Johnson, a/k/a Geezy, and Gzy Tha Prince, age 35;
- Kenneth Jones, a/k/a, K-Slay, and Slay, age 30; and,
- Marquise McCants, a/k/a Digga, age 25,
all of Baltimore, Maryland, were convicted of conspiring to violate federal racketeering and drug trafficking laws.
Johnson was also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, possession of ammunition by a felon and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. McCants was convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon.
The following six co-defendants, also members of the BGF gang, had all previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate federal racketeering and drug trafficking laws;
- Wesley Jamal Brown, a/k/a Shike White and Wes, age 25;
- David Albert Hunter, a/k/a Lil Dave, and Dave, age 30;
- Montel Harvey, a/k/a Telly, Telephone, and Big Head, age 25;
- Kenneth Lee Faison, a/k/a Roscoe, age 28;
- Joseph Laurence Bonds, a/k/a/ Joe, and Yo Gotti, age 36; and,
- Norman Tyrone Handy, a/k/a Lil Norm, and Norm, age 23.
The conviction was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Daniel L. Board, Jr. of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Baltimore Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Darryl De Sousa of the Baltimore Police Department; Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
“This case is emblematic of the ability of federal prosecution, using tolls such as RICO, to go after the violent gangs plaguing Baltimore City. The federal agents and task force officers worked long hours with the AUSAs to build this case which resulted in a successful outcome,” said Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning.
“These convicted defendants are ruthless gang members, who acted with a total disregard for the sanctity of human life. Make no mistake, their cowardice behavior and violent criminal acts terrorized our communities,” said Daniel L. Board, Jr., ATF Baltimore Field Division Special Agent in Charge. “But today’s verdict is true justice for the involved victims and their families, and the citizens of Baltimore. This result is the culmination of nearly two years of relentless, dedicated work by ATF Baltimore, the Baltimore City Police Department and our formidable partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office.”
According to the evidence presented at the two-month trial, the defendants were members of an organization known today as the BGF Greenmount Regime, a violent set, or “bubble,” of BGF. During the early years in which it operated, the gang called itself the Young Guerilla Family, or YGF, and consisted mostly of younger people who lived in the 2200, 2300, and 2400 blocks of Barclay Street and Guilford Avenue. YGF members sold drugs throughout the Greenmount Avenue corridor and committed murders, shootings, and armed robberies.
In about mid-2007, YGF members took the BGF oath and became the BGF Greenmount Regime. According to evidence presented at trial, the BGF Greenmount Regime continued to sell drugs and commit violent acts, including murders, shootings and robberies, and by mid-2013 controlled the roughly rectangular area bordered by Greenmount Avenue to the east; Guilford Avenue to the west; 25th Street to the north; and Federal Street to the south, as well as certain offshoots east of Greenmount Avenue, including Mund Park and Cokesbury Avenue.
Beginning in 2005, Johnson supplied drugs to the YGF members for further distribution and was the leader of YGF. During the conspiracy, the defendants distributed powder and crack cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, marijuana, and oxycodone. BGF Greenmount Regime members and associates purchased, maintained and circulated weapons and firearms for use in criminal activity by BGF members.
In addition, the defendants committed acts of violence, including seven murders, shootings, stabbings, a home invasion robbery and other armed robberies. The violent acts were intended to further the gang’s activities, including intimidating witnesses to prevent them from cooperating with law enforcement, protecting the gang’s drug territory, financing the dues paid to BGF, and enforcing gang rules.
For example, on January 9, 2007, Jones and another YGF member shot and killed an individual. Johnson authorized the killing of this individual in his capacity as a leader of YGF because the victim was rumored to be cooperating with law enforcement and Johnson believed the victim had stolen drugs from him. McCants also attempted to murder another individual on February 4, 2017, shooting them multiple times in the legs and back.
Johnson, Jones and McCants face a maximum sentence of life in prison on the racketeering and drug conspiracies. Johnson also faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for conspiring to commit murder in aid of racketeering and life in prison for murder in aid of racketeering. In addition, Johnson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of ammunition.
Sentencing has been scheduled for Johnson on April 20, 2018 at 2 p.m.; McCants on May 9, 2018 at 2 p.m.; and Jones on May 10, 2018 at 2 p.m. at the United States District Court in Baltimore, Maryland.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the ATF, FBI, Baltimore City Police Department, Maryland Attorney General’s Office, and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter J. Martinez and Christina Hoffman, who prosecuted the case.