Fifth TTP Bloods Gang Member Pleads Guilty In Racketeering Conspiracy
Baltimore, Maryland - Kevin Gary, age 27, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to 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. This case is the result of a long-term joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office.
According to Gary’s plea 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. TTP spread throughout Maryland mostly as a result of recruitment 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.
From at least 2005 through February 2008, Gary was a member and leader of the TTP Bloods, participating, as part of the racketeering conspiracy, in the distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Gary was responsible for the distribution of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin, as well as 3,4-methylenedioxymeth-amphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as Ecstasy.
In addition, Gary committed and sanctioned acts of violence on behalf of the gang. Specifically, on September 15, 2005, Gary, along with other TTP members, participated in the beating and murder of Terrance Williams in a gang-related dispute. In recorded telephone conversations in 2006 and 2007, Gary is heard telling a gang member that he would obtain a gun for them and ordering that other gang members be beaten as punishment for violating gang rules. In February 2008, in a series of recorded telephone calls, Kevin Gary contacted incarcerated TTP members and sought to have one of them murder an inmate with the Maryland Department of Corrections, who Gary believed killed his brother.
Finally, in furtherance of the racketeering conspiracy Gary obstructed justice. Specifically, in a letter written on November 20, 2006, while he was incarcerated pending trial in state court for the murder of Terrance Williams, Gary wrote to a TTP co-defendant in this case and directed her to take steps to prevent the eyewitnesses, who were females, from testifying against him and another TTP member at the state court trial. Additionally, on December 19, 2007, in a recorded telephone call with a TTP member, Gary, based on paperwork provided to him by a TTP co-defendant, identified an individual he believed was cooperating with law enforcement officials in a 2006 murder case against two TTP gang members.
Under his plea agreement, if accepted by the Judge, Gary faces a penalty of 30 years in prison. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for March 27, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.
Twenty-four additional gang members have been charged in the racketeering conspiracy. Steve Willock, age 29, Van Sneed, age 32, both of Baltimore, Maryland, Shaneka Penix, age 22, of Dundalk, Maryland and Orlando Gilyard, age 21, of Woodlawn, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the RICO conspiracy. Willock was sentenced to 25 years in prison, Gilyard was sentenced to over 9 ½ years in prison and Penix to 10 years in prison. The remaining defendants’ charges are pending.
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, Western Correctional Institution, North Branch Correctional Institution, Anne Arundel County Police Department, the Hagerstown Police Department and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for their investigation of this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.
Mr. Rosenstein and Mrs. Jessamy also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Weinstein, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris 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.