21 ALLEGED BLOODS GANG MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES INDICTED FOR FEDERAL CRIMINAL CONSPIRACIES BASED IN HOWARD COUNTY
18 Alleged Bloods Gang Members Face Federal Racketeering Charges; 3 Others Charged in Related Narcotics Conspiracy
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted 18 alleged members of the Howard County Bloods gang on federal racketeering charges and charged three other defendants and two of the alleged Bloods gang members, with conspiracy to distribute drugs.
The indictment and a search warrant affidavit were unsealed today upon the arrests of 15 defendants and the execution of 25 search warrants. Five defendants were already in custody. Approximately 200 agents and officers assisted in today’s arrests and search warrants. The indictment was returned on May 7, 2013.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Steven L. Gerido of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Howard County Police Chief William McMahon; Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts; and Howard County State’s Attorney Dario Broccolino.
“I am confident that ATF’s successful execution of more than 40 federal arrest and search warrants made a significant impact on violent crime in our Maryland communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Steven L. Gerido of the ATF - Baltimore Field Division. “ATF continues to work with its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in order to bring violent criminals to justice.”
Howard County State’s Attorney Dario Broccolino stated, “Today’s indictments show this office, along with the Howard County Police Department, will use every tool at our disposal to continue to make Howard County safe. We are appreciative of the cooperation and leadership of our federal partners in this effort.”
“The indictment unsealed today shows that no community is immune to gang and drug activity, but it also demonstrates our commitment to ridding our neighborhoods of this criminal element,” said Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon. “That’s why I have made our participation in this task force a priority and I am grateful to all our partners. Gang members who commit crimes should know that they will not be tolerated in Howard County or throughout Maryland.”
The indictment alleges that 18 of the defendants were members or associates of the Bloods, a national criminal street gang with members operating in and around Howard County, Maryland. The Bloods are divided into “sets,” each identified or affiliated with a certain street, neighborhood or area. Court documents allege that the defendants include members of more than one Blood “set.” Bloods are identified by: the color red, worn by Bloods members; a rivalry with the Crips gang; and particular gang symbols, including distinctive tattoos, such as a dog paw or five-pointed star and hand signs.
The indictment charges that from 2010 to the present, the Howard County Bloods gang members conspired to engage in criminal activity. The Bloods committed acts of violence both within the gang, to maintain discipline, and against rival gangs. Participation in criminal activity by a member, particularly violent acts directed at rival gangs or as directed by the gang leadership, increased the respect accorded to that member, resulted in that member maintaining or increasing his position in the gang, and could result in a promotion to a leadership position.
The indictment alleges that the defendants and other members and associates of the Bloods maintained and shared firearms for use in criminal activity by fellow gang members. The defendants and other Bloods members and associates allegedly distributed drugs, including marijuana and oxycodone (Percocet), codeine, and MDMA (Ecstasy), and used the proceeds of those drug transactions to help finance the gang’s illegal activities. The affidavit filed in support of search warrants executed today reveals telephone calls intercepted during the investigation in which the defendants discuss assaults, robberies, burglaries, home invasions, and drug trafficking that the defendants and other members allegedly committed in order to generate proceeds, and to obtain drugs to support the gang. Finally, the indictment alleges, and intercepted telephone calls indicate, that the Bloods provided financial support, such as reloadable debit cards, to incarcerated gang members.
The following defendants are charged in the racketeering conspiracy:
- Ryan Gladden, a/k/a "Fats," age 25, of Baltimore;
- Anthony Preston, a/k/a "40," and "Tone," age 26, of Randallstown, Maryland;
- Giovanni Wright, a/k/a "G," age 20, of Elkridge, Maryland;
- Heather Carter, a/k/a "hunnilynn," age 29, of Columbia, Maryland
- Kyle Austin, a/k/a "Fowdy," age 21, of Baltimore;
- James Bieryla, a/k/a "Brea," and "Braze," age 21, of Ellicott City, Maryland;
- Russell Canty, a/k/a "Rek," age 20, of Baltimore;
- Van Albert Carroll, Jr., a/k/a "Kool-Aid," age 19, of Ellicott City;
- Russell Chesson, a/k/a "Black," age 30, of Washington, D.C.;
- Corey Conaway, a/k/a "KC," age 30, of Columbia;
- Adrian Freeman, a/k/a "Sleep," age 23, of Laurel, Maryland;
- Kevin Jarrell, a/k/a "K-Dog," 24, of College Park, Maryland;
- Michael Dominique Johnson, a/k/a "Ace", age 19, of Columbia;
- Faisal Lelo Mapangala, a/k/a "Pistol," age 21, of Jessup, Maryland;
- Christopher Lloyd McGann, age 21, of Columbia;
- Kenneth Ragan-Armstrong, a/k/a "Keezy," age 22, of Savage, Maryland;
- David Jerome Robertson; age 22, of Columbia; and
- Bamba Omar Saine, age 22, of Columbia.
Three other defendants are charged in narcotics conspiracies:
- Wendy Farhat, age 38, of Gaithersburg, Maryland;
- Anthony Louis Jones, age 26, of Columbia; and
- Troy Fowler, age 23, of Laurel.
The indictment alleges that beginning in January 2013, Farhat, alleged Bloods member Anthony Preston, and Jones conspired to distribute marijuana, oxycodone, and Ecstasy. Jones is still being sought.
In a separate conspiracy, the indictment alleges that beginning in 2013, alleged Bloods member Giovanni Wright conspired with Troy Fowler to distribute marijuana, codeine and Ecstasy.
Each of the 18 defendants charged in the racketeering conspiracy faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and each of the five defendants charged in narcotics conspiracies faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Initial appearances for many of the defendants are taking place today in federal court in Baltimore.
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 200 federal, state and local law enforcement officers led by the ATF, who worked together to execute the search and arrest warrants today.
Mr. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Howard County Police Department, Baltimore Police Department and Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel M. Yasser and Sandra Wilkinson, who are prosecuting the case.