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Press Release

Leader In The Black Guerilla Family Gang Sentenced To 35 Years In Federal Prison For Racketeering Conspiracy, Including Authorizing Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Shawn Thomas, a/k/a Bucky, age 38, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 35 years in federal prison for participating in a racketeering conspiracy, as a leader in the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang. 

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur stated, “All too often, guns and drugs go hand in hand—and both are killers.  Shawn Thomas’ sentencing today ensures that he will not be able to bring either to the Greenmount Avenue community he once controlled for a very long time.  We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to get guns and drugs off of our streets and to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods.”

According to his plea agreement, from prior to 2010 through February 22, 2018, Thomas was employed by and associated with the BGF gang.  BGF is a nationwide gang operating in prisons and in cities throughout the United States, including in Baltimore.  BGF is involved in criminal activity including murder, robbery, extortion, drug trafficking, obstruction of justice, and witness intimidation.

BGF organizes its members into “regimes” or “bubbles” corresponding to particular regions or neighborhoods in Baltimore City and other Maryland communities.  Each bubble reports to a bush member or bushman, who controls larger swaths of territory on behalf of BGF.  Bush members are elder statesmen of BGF and maintain inter-bubble discipline and settle disputes among the various bubbles operating in the territory that the bush member controls.

Thomas admitted that he was a high-ranking member of BGF, controlling a regime in the 2700 block of Greenmount Avenue in North Baltimore.  During the course of the conspiracy, Thomas obtained narcotics, including crack cocaine, which he distributed through BGF-controlled open-air drug shops.  Thomas also collected gang dues for BGF. 

As detailed in Thomas’ plea agreement, on December 9, 2016, Thomas ordered another BGF member to murder Keith Ramsey, a Bloods gang member, as part of an ongoing dispute between the two gangs.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF, the FBI, the Baltimore Police Department, and the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys James T. Wallner and Clinton J. Fuchs, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

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Updated March 12, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime