Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging six Baltimore men for conspiring to participate in a violent racketeering enterprise known as the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang. The indictment, which was returned on December 15, 2022 and unsealed today, charges the following defendants:
David Warren, a/k/a “Meshawn” and “LA Meshawn,” age 30;
Barak Olds, age 33;
Davante Harrison, a/k/a “YGG Tay” and “Lor Bip Bip,” age 28;
Wayne Prince, a/k/a “Taz,” age 23;
Joshua Duffy, a/k/a “Josh,” age 35; and
Tyrell Jeffries, a/k/a “Whitebread,” age 37.
Duffy and Jeffries were arrested today and are expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore this afternoon. Initial appearances for the remaining defendants, who are already in custody, will be scheduled at a later date.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Interim Chief Dennis J. Delp of the Baltimore County Police Department.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to stop gang violence, like that alleged in this indictment,” said United States Attorney Erek L. Barron. “Gangs will not be allowed to hold communities hostage through violence and intimidation.”
According to the indictment, beginning in 2014 and continuing until the date of the indictment, the defendants are members and associates of the Black Guerilla Family (“BGF”), also known as “Jamaa,” and participated in the BGF criminal enterprise. BGF is a nationwide gang operating in prisons and in cities throughout the United States. Founded in California, BGF appeared in the Maryland correctional system in the 1990’s. Although still a prison gang, BGF is involved in criminal activity, including murder, murder-for-hire, robbery, extortion, drug trafficking, obstruction of justice and witness intimidation throughout Baltimore, in Maryland, and elsewhere. BGF members in Baltimore are organized into “regimes” corresponding to particular regions or neighborhoods. Each “regime” is organized and controlled by a hierarchy called “the bubble.”
BGF members are required to follow a code of conduct and includes: never snitching, never stealing from or lying to Jamaa, never participating in homosexual activities, never revealing BGF secrets, and never running during combat. BGF members who violated this code or who disobeyed an order from a superior were subjected to disciplinary measures, called “sanctions,” which included fines, physical beatings, stabbings, and murders administered by other BGF members.
The indictment alleges that BGF members and associates, operated street-level drug distribution “shops” throughout Baltimore, primarily distributing heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, and other controlled substances. The indictment further alleges that the defendants committed acts of violence, including six murders, 11 shootings, attempted murders, and armed robberies. The violent acts were intended to further the gang’s activities, including intimidating witnesses to prevent them from cooperating with law enforcement, protecting the gang’s drug territory, financing the dues paid to BGF, and enforcing gang rules.
For example, the indictment alleges that on June 29, 2014, Harrison paid a BGF member to murder an individual who owed him money for narcotics. Harrison allegedly supplied the BGF member with $10,000 and a gun, which the BGF member used to kill the victim in the 1300 block of Ward Street in Baltimore. The indictment further alleges that in 2018 Harrison hired Warren as a hitman. Between February and August 2018 Warren allegedly attempted to murder three of Harrison’s rivals in exchange for payments from Harrison. The intended victims included two individuals who publicly accused Harrison of cooperating with law enforcement, and a BGF member who burglarized Harrison’s residence in 2013. As detailed in the indictment, Harrison also assaulted an associate after she threatened to report Harrison’s activities to police, allegedly stomping her in the face and knocking her out.
According to the indictment, on April 4, 2018, Warren went to the home of one of the individuals who had accused Harrison of cooperating with police. The intended victim was not there, but the targeted victim’s mother and sister were in the home. The indictment alleges that Warren murdered them both using a .357 caliber handgun and that Harrison later paid Warren for committing the murders. As detailed in the indictment, after the murders, Harrison instructed his girlfriend to look for properties in Atlanta, Georgia, and directed the mother of his child to stay in a hotel in Baltimore County because Harrison was concerned that they may be targeted for violence in retaliation for Harrison’s involvement in the murders.
The indictment alleges that in August 2018, Warren, Prince and a co-conspirator attempted to murder the second person who had accused Harrison of cooperating with law enforcement. The attempted murder took place at a home that the target owned and was having renovated. During the assault, two of the construction workers on the site were shot and one of them was killed.
On July 3, 2019, the indictment alleges that Olds shot and killed a woman while she was pushing her infant daughter in a stroller. The victim was murdered because she was doing business in the 400 block of North Rose Street without obtaining permission from BGF.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison for the racketeering conspiracy.
This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.
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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
This case is also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
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 Erek L. Barron commended the ATF, the FBI, the Baltimore City Police Department, and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter J. Martinez, Patricia C. McLane, and Ariel Evans, who are prosecuting the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
# # #