PDL Bloods Member Sentenced to over 7 Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Participate in a Racketeering Enterprise

January 5, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Richard Watters, age 24, of Baltimore, yesterday to 90 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise related to his gang activities as a PDL Blood.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; and Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.

According to Watters’ plea agreement, in the early 1970s, a street gang known as “the Bloods” was formed in Los Angeles, California. The Bloods spread to other states and broke into individual units or “sets.” Each set was identified or affiliated with a certain street, neighborhood, or area. ATF agents in Baltimore have been investigating a Bloods set known as the Pasadena Denver Lanes (also known as “the Lanes,” “PDL,” and “L-Gang”). This Baltimore street gang was responsible for the distribution of large quantities of illegal narcotics, including crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. The PDL gang also committed acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assaults, robberies, and other violent activities. Richard Watters was a member of the PDL Bloods in Baltimore.

From at least January 2008 to April, 2010, Watters participated in the PDL gang activities. Specifically, Watters sold heroin and crack cocaine, and participated in gang sanctions and other violence against PDL members and rival gang members. Watters was overheard on numerous calls discussing his involvement in drug trafficking and gang-related activities. The distribution of approximately eight ounces to over three pounds of crack cocaine and over two pounds of heroin, were reasonably foreseeable to Watters during the course of the racketeering conspiracy.

On April 16, 2010, the Baltimore City Police Department executed a search warrant at a location used by Watters and others for drug trafficking. Watters was arrested with additional heroin, marijuana, cash and drug paraphernalia.

United States Attorney Rosenstein expressed his appreciation to Secretary Gary D. Maynard and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for their assistance in the investigation.

Mr. Rosenstein thanked the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, ATF and the Baltimore Police Department for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Kwame J. Manley and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Traci Robinson, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to EXILE cases, who prosecuted the conspiracy case, and Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorneys Staci Pipkin and Brandis Marsh, who assisted in the prosecution.

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