TTP Bloods Leader Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Activities
Baltimore, Maryland - Jerrod Fenwick, age 28, of Baltimore, Maryland, 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.
According to Fenwick’s plea agreement, 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.
According to his plea agreement, Fenwick was a member and leader of the TTP Bloods. From at least 2005 through February 2008, Fenwick engaged in telephone conversations with other TTP members about gang business, including drug trafficking in furtherance of the gang’s activities. TTP members reported to Fenwick about the operations of a drug shop and Fenwick and other TTP members discussed the collection of drug proceeds. Fenwick also sold drugs. During the course of the conspiracy Fenwick 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-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as Ecstasy.
U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. scheduled sentencing for February 11, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.
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. Fourteen defendants, including Fenwick, have pleaded guilty to the RICO conspiracy and 10 of those have been sentenced to between 21 months and 30 years in prison. Four 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.