FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
October 1, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TTP BLOODS LEADER SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS FOR ENGAGING IN MURDER AND OTHER RACKETEERING ACTIVITIES
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Clyde Millner, age 24, of Baltimore, today to 20 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to conduct and participate in the activities of a racketeering enterprise known as the Tree Top Piru Bloods (TTP Bloods), announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy.
“We will continue our relentless pursuit to put violent offenders behind bars,” says ATF’s Acting Special Agent in Charge David L. McCain. “We hope to impart our message in Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland that ATF is putting violent gangs out of business, one defendant at a time.”
According to Millner’s plea agreement and other court documents, TTP 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. From this set emerged a subset known as Tree Top Pirus (TTP). The name derived from a group of streets in Compton named after trees.
TTP spread throughout the country, including Maryland. TTP in Maryland has its roots in a local gang which began in the Washington County Detention Center in Hagerstown, Maryland in about 1999. The gang was formed for mutual protection in response to the aggression of other inmates from Baltimore and spread throughout Maryland mostly by recruiting from inside Maryland prisons. Over time, a group of female gang members formed a subset of TTP known as the Tree Top Pirettes.
As part of the conspiracy gang members of TTP would meet regularly to discuss past acts of violence and other crimes committed by gang members against rival gang members and others; to notify one another about gang members who were arrested or incarcerated; to discuss the disciplining of TTP gang members; to discuss police interactions with gang members; to share with one another the identities of individuals who may be cooperating with law enforcement and propose actions to be taken against those individuals; to plan and agree upon the commission of future crimes, including murders, robberies, drug trafficking, and assaults, and the means to cover up these crimes; and to reinforce gang rules. TTP gang members and associates of TTP purchased, maintained and circulated a collection of firearms for use in criminal activity by TTP members. In addition, TTP gang members and associates of TTP committed acts of murder, and other acts of violence against rival gang members and imposed discipline within TTP itself, and committed violent acts on other occasions as deemed necessary.
According to his plea agreement, Millner admitted that he was a member of the TTP Bloods from at least 2005 through February 2008 and in his leadership role, communicated on a regular basis with Steve Willock, the head of the TTP Bloods, who was in prison. Eyewitnesses identified Clyde Millner as one of the individuals that stabbed Terrence Williams on September 20, 2005, after Williams walked onto a porch where several TTP members were standing and produced a knife. According to the plea agreement, Williams was murdered because he wanted to leave TTP. In a letter written on November 20, 2006, shortly before their trial in state court for the murder of Williams, Kevin Gary, who was incarcerated with Clyde Millner, wrote to TTP member Tracey Whiting and directed her to take steps to prevent “Alicia Keys” from “singing” – a reference to preventing the eyewitnesses, who were females, from testifying against Gary and Millner at the state court trial.
This case is the result of a long-term joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Baltimore City Police Department, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office. Twenty-five additional gang members have been charged in the racketeering conspiracy. Twelve defendants, including Millner, have pleaded guilty to the RICO conspiracy and 10 of those have been sentenced to between 21 months and 30 years in prison. Three defendants have pleaded guilty to gun or drug charges. The remaining defendants’ charges are pending.
Mr. Rosenstein and Ms. Jessamy gave special thanks to Secretary Gary Maynard of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and the officers at the Western and North Branch Correctional Institutions for their work in the investigation and prosecution of this case.
United States Attorney Rosenstein and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Jessamy praised the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Baltimore City Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department, Wicomico County State’s Attorney Office, Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Narcotics Task Force, Anne Arundel County Police Department, and the Hagerstown Police Department for their investigation of this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.
Mr. Rosenstein and Mrs. Jessamy also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hanlon, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Mason, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney, who are prosecuting the case and Assistant State’s Attorney LaRai Forrest who assisted in the prosecution.