They fancied themselves after the Italian mafia, but authorities say members of the Murdaland Mafia Piru were more indiscriminate.
Federal authorities say MMP controlled the drug trade in large swaths of northwest Baltimore City and Baltimore County, but early Tuesday morning, members got a rude awakening as police conducted raids at a dozen locations.
It was the culmination of a year-long investigation into a violent subset of the Bloods gang, and police say they are responsible for drug trafficking, money laundering and at least five shootings and murders.
In all, 24 members who go by names like ‘Almighty,’ ‘Montana Gold’ and ‘Menace’ face life in prison; a sentence investigators hope to justify with evidence gathered in all of Tuesday’s raids.
"Gang members may not care all that much what we say at press conferences, but they pay attention to what we do and this will deliver a significant wake up call to them today," said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.
Authorities say the Murdaland Mafia Piru laundered money through Maryland casinos, circulated illegal guns for criminal activity and took over legitimate businesses to run their empire.
An example is the BP gas station off Windsor Mill Road in southwest Baltimore.
Baltimore City Police padlocked the business back in June after releasing surveillance video of a drug deal inside.
Police Commissioner Kevin Davis called the business a “den of ill repute” and chose to padlock the gas station.
It was the short game for local authorities, but the feds played the long game.
"ATF and the contingency you see behind me as a whole have been responsible for indicting or arresting 51 people that encompass approximately 25 homicides and 36 nonfatal shootings. That's an impact," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Daniel Board.
It is an impact authorities hopes will last in city and county neighborhoods like Gwynn Oak, Windsor Mill and Woodlawn, after having extracted a gang they say terrorized this part of northwest Baltimore.
Seven of the 24 gang members sought by the feds remain at large. Those arrested Tuesday morning had their initial appearance in federal court later that day.
The defendants are:
- Dante Bailey, a/k/a "Gutta," "Almighty," and "Wolf," age 37, of Windsor Mill, Maryland;
- Dontray Johnson, a/k/a "Gambino," "Bino," and "Tray," age 31, of Windsor Mill;
- Adrian Jamal Spence, a/k/a "Spittle," "SP," and "AJ," age 29, of Baltimore;
- William Banks, a/k/a "Trouble," age 27, of Baltimore;
- Randy Banks, a/k/a "Dirt," age 38, of Baltimore;
- Ayinde Deleon, a/k/a "Murda," and "Yin," age 31, of Baltimore;
- Dominick Wedlock, a/k/a "Rage," and "Nick," age 29, of Baltimore;
- Jamal Lockley, a/k/a "T-Roy," and "Droid," age 37, of Baltimore;
- Dwight Jenkins, a/k/a "Huggie," and "Unc," age 48, of Baltimore;
- Jacob Bowling, a/k/a "Jakey," "Ghost," and "Fred," age 30, of Gwynn Oak, Maryland;
- Corloyd Anderson, a/k/a "Bo," age 33, of Owings Mills, Maryland;
- Melvin Lashley, a/k/a "Menace," age 26, of Baltimore;
- Devon Dent, a/k/a "Tech," age 26, of Gwynn Oak;
- William Jones, a/k/a "Bill," and "Smalls," age 27, of Baltimore;
- Jarmal Harrid, a/k/a "J-Rock," and "PJ," age 27, of Gwynn Oak;
- Jamal Smith, a/k/a "Mal," and "Lil Mal," age 25, of Gwynn Oak;
- Tiffany Bailey, a/k/a "Tiff," age 31, of Windsor Mill;
- Takuma Tate, a/k/a "Oop," and "Ook," age 37, of Baltimore;
- Maurice Pollock, a/k/a "Reese," age 22, of Baltimore;
- Shakeen Davis, a/k/a "Creams," age 22, of Baltimore;
- Charles Blackwell, a/k/a "Ci-Bo," and "Lil Charlie," age 21, of Woodlawn, Maryland;
- Kenneth Torry, a/k/a "Kenny," age 39, of Owings Mills;
- Delante Lee, a/k/a "Tay Tay," age 21, of Baltimore; and
- Jay Greer, a/k/a "Champagne," "Montana Gold," and "Slick," age 24, of Baltimore.
All except Spence have also been charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
All 24 defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison for racketeering, and all except Spence face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison for drug conspiracy charges.