FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
October 13, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
35 ALLEGED MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES OF “SSB BLOODS” GANG
INDICTED ON FEDERAL RACKETEERING, DRUG AND GUN CHARGES
Coordinated RICO Investigation by Federal and State Authorities Targets Organized Gang Allegedly Wreaking Havoc from Western Maryland to the Lower Eastern Shore
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted 35 defendants for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise known as the South Side Brims Bloods gang (SSB Bloods), conspiracy to distribute drugs and gun violations. The indictment was returned under seal on September 21, 2011, and unsealed today upon the arrests of nine defendants to date. Detainers have been filed against 11 defendants who are in custody on other charges. The other 12 defendants have been issued summonses to appear in federal court. The indictment alleges that from 2005 to the present, the SSB Bloods have operated from Western Maryland to the lower Eastern Shore, committing violent criminal acts including murders, shootings, home invasion robberies, drug trafficking and witness intimidation. This indictment was the culmination of a long-term joint investigation by federal, state and local authorities throughout Maryland.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Secretary Gary Maynard of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Special Agent in Charge Mark Chait of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Frederick County Sheriff Charles A. “Chuck” Jenkins; Colonel Kim C. Dine, Chief of the Frederick Police Department; Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; Chief William J. McMahon of the Howard County Police Department; Anne Arundel County Police Chief James Teare, Sr.; Annapolis Police Chief Michael A. Pristoop; Chief Bernadette DiPino of the Ocean City Police Department; Chief Michael Phillips of the Fruitland Police Department; Garrett County Sheriff Robert E. Corley; Allegany County Bureau of Police Chief J. Robert Dick; Cumberland Police Chief Charles H. Hinnant; Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore; Dorchester County Sheriff James W. Phillips; Queen Anne’s County Sheriff R. Gary Hofmann III; Wicomico County Sheriff Michael A. Lewis; Worcester County Sheriff Reggie T. Mason, Sr.; Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan; Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matthew Maciarello; Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; Washington County State’s Attorney Charles P. Strong, Jr.; Garrett County State’s Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch; Allegany County State’s Attorney Michael O. Twigg; and Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney Lance G. Richardson.
“This case reflects an unprecedented level of coordination among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies employing the federal RICO statute to dismantle criminal gangs,” said United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “The covert investigation known as ‘Cardinal Sin’ started in 2009, based on allegations that the South Side Brims Bloods gang was establishing cells and wreaking havoc throughout Maryland. When criminals join together and threaten public safety, law enforcement agencies must work together to put them out of business. You cannot stop a group of criminals by pursuing individual members for isolated crimes.”
More than 100 law enforcement officers deployed this morning to arrest defendants charged in the indictment, which alleges that SSB Bloods gang members belong to a nationwide racketeering enterprise. Last March, hundreds of law enforcement officers assisted in the execution of 42 search warrants relating to the investigation at various locations throughout Maryland. The 71 page indictment and 135 page search warrant affidavit have been unsealed.
The affidavit alleges that in December 2009, Frederick Police discovered a roster of members both at large and incarcerated. Versions of the roster later were found in other locations, along with gang handbook. During the federal investigation, gang members allegedly were recorded on wiretaps discussing the gang’s hierarchy and rules, letters discussing gang business were intercepted, and internet pages containing gang messages, photographs and videos were found. Authorities also developed confidential informants who provided details about the gang’s criminal activities.
The 26 count indictment alleges that the defendants were members and associates of the SSB Bloods, a violent gang with members operating throughout Maryland, including the cities of Frederick, Cumberland, Salisbury and Baltimore; and Queen Anne’s, Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, Talbot, Howard and Anne Arundel counties. The indictment alleges that SSB gang members also operated in and around New York City, New Jersey, Virginia, South Carolina and California.
The SSB Bloods originated from a street gang known as “the Bloods” that was formed in Los Angeles, California in the early 1970s. As time passed, the Bloods spread to other locations and broke into individual “sets.” One such Bloods set based in Compton, California was called Piru Bloods, which emerged into a subset known as the “Fruit Town Brims.” The name derived from a group of streets in Compton named after fruit trees. The Fruit Town Brims became established on the east coast, including Maryland.
The indictment alleges that Andre Roach was granted permission to start the South Side Brims on June 17, 2005, and that Roach sent letters through Monique Hagler, alleged to be the “first lady” or secretary for the set. According to the indictment, Hagler also sent communications to gang members demanding payment of dues used to support members of the SSB enterprise and their activities, including hiring criminal defense lawyers, buying firearms, posting bail and assisting gang members recently released from prison to help them get on their feet. The indictment sets out in detail numerous acts taken by the defendants in furtherance of their racketeering scheme, including the distribution of powder and crack cocaine, ecstasy, and other drugs, robberies and home invasion robberies and the use of guns in furtherance of these crimes.
The indictment alleges that the SSB initiation process involved being “jumped in” through a beating by other gang members. SSB members were required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and advance in the gang leadership. Specific acts of violence alleged in the indictment include a murder, several attempted murders, home invasion robberies, witness intimidation, violence against gang members who violated gang rules and other alleged acts of violence.
The following defendants are charged in the indictment:
Andre Ricardo Roach, age 34;
Monique Marie Hagler; age 27, of Suitland, Md;
Theodore Clifton Matthews, age 29, of Baltimore;
Richard Demoan Hall, Jr., age 27, of Cumberland;
Matthew Owen Colllins, age 27, of Cumberland;
Brandon Isiah Fossett, age 27, of Frederick;
Durell Jarric Clayter, age 26, of Frederick;
Altonia Manley, III, age 22, of Frederick;
Marcel Anthony Williams, age 20, of Frederick;
Dominic Antonio Grey, age 27, of Frederick;
Jimarr Tyrell King, age 23, of Frederick, Md;
Derell Len Prue, age 20, of Frederick;
Gerald Lee Dorsey, Jr., age 24, Frederick;
Kennea Keith Diggs, Jr., age 32, Frederick;
Paul Travis Cox, age 20, of Frederick;
Van Johnson Weedon, age 19, of Frederick;
Morris Jermaine Goodwin, age 19, of Frederick;
Courtney Alan Gates, age 28, of Frederick;
Fitzgerald Donald Reid, age 21, of Frederick;
Kylynn Charmonix Williams, age 19, of Frederick;
Richard Lee Thompson, age 22, of Frederick;
William Michael Black, age 22, of Stevensville, Md;
Dontell Lamont Guy, age 24;
Yancy Lamont White, age 23, of Salisbury, Md;
Antonio Jovan Dennis, age 29, of Stevensville;
Kyle Alexander Carey, age 20, of Salisbury;
Justin Rashaad Harris, age 19, of Eden, Md;
Antonio Javier Landers, age 24, of Howard County;
Aurelio Manuel Barahona, age 24, of Howard County;
Donnell Antonio Lewis, age 30, of Annapolis, Md
Donnell Moses Stewart, age 24, of Severn, Md;
Renard Mitchell, age 25, of Baltimore;
Darryl Rashad Smith, age 29, of Howard County;
Joseph Aaron Artis, age 22, of Howard County;
Alex Antonio Mendoza, age 23, of Howard County.
Each of the 31 defendants charged in count two with the drug trafficking conspiracy faces a maximum sentence of life in prison; and each of the 27 defendants charged in count one with the RICO conspiracy faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Matthews, Hall, Collins, Fossett, Manley, Marcel Williams, King, Diggs, Cox, Weedon, Guy, Carey and Harris also face from five to 25 years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for each count of possessing, using and/or carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime or crime of violence. Dennis and Fossett face an additional five years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rosenstein commended the more than 100 federal and state law enforcement officers who worked together to execute the arrest warrants today. Mr. Rosenstein praised the FBI; Maryland State Police; ATF; Delaware State Police; Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Cumberland, Frederick, Howard County, Prince George’s County, Salisbury, Fruitland, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County and Ocean City Police Departments; Allegany County Bureau of Police; Allegany County Criminal Investigations; the Frederick, Washington, Queen Anne’s, Dorchester, Wicomico and Worcester County Sheriffs Offices;and the State’s Attorney’s Offices of Baltimore City, Frederick, Wicomico, Washington, Allegany, Garrett and Queen Anne’s Counties for their investigation of this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case. Mr. Rosenstein also recognized the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and the Drug Enforcement Administration for their assistance in the investigation.
Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrea Smith and A. David Copperthite, who are prosecuting this case.