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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 22, 2019

Southside Brims Gang Members Plead Guilty to Committing a Violent Act in Aid of Racketeering

Baltimore Men Participated in Assault and Stabbing of Suspected Rival Gang Member

Baltimore, Maryland – Ali Jackson, age 25, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to committing a violent act in aid of racketeering, in connection with his membership in the Southside Brims gang.  Co-defendant Davon Hamilton, age 20, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to the same charge on January 31, 2019.

The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; and Chief John Gavrilis of the Maryland Transit Administration Police.

According to their guilty pleas, Jackson and Hamilton are members of the Southside Brims, a subset of the Bloods, a violent street gang with thousands of members nationwide.  In approximately 2005, a member of the Fruit Town Brims, another subset of the Bloods gang that became established on the East Coast, was authorized to form a new Bloods set in Maryland, the Southside Brims. Over time, the Southside Brims expanded in membership to other states, including New Jersey, Virginia, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

The Southside Brims follows many of the same practices as the Bloods gang, including identification with the color red, which members wear prominently in clothing, hats, and bandanas as a way to signify membership in the gang; a long-term and violent rivalry with the Crips street gang; and an established hierarchical membership structure, among other things.

Members of the Southside Brims engaged in criminal activity including, attempted murders, murder, assaults, robberies, drug trafficking.  Southside Brims members committed acts of violence to maintain membership in the gang, to discipline members within the gang, and to retaliate against rival gang members.  Participation in criminal activity by a member, particularly violent acts directed at rival gang members or as directed by gang leadership, increased the respect accorded to that member, resulted in the member maintaining or increasing his position in the gang, and could result in a promotion within the gang.  Southside Brims members participated in meetings to conduct gang business, including initiations of new members, discussions of sanctions, collections of membership dues, and discussions of acts of violence and other activities related to the gang.

On March 22, 2018, Jackson and Hamilton were socializing with members of the gang when the group learned that another member of the gang had allegedly been assaulted by members of the rival Crips street gang. Jackson, Hamilton and several gang members went to the area of the assault to assist, ultimately encountering several suspected Crips members in Baltimore.  Jackson, Hamilton, and other members of the Southside Brims assaulted one victim, “C.A.,” knocking the victim unconscious. During the assault, one of the members of the gang stabbed C.A. four times with a knife.  Members in the gang also forcibly stole property from C.A.  Jackson and the other Southside Brims then fled the area.  Jackson admitted that he participated in the assault of C.A. to maintain or increase his position in the gang.

Jackson and Hamilton each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for Jackson on April 18, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. and for Hamilton on April 26, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.  The defendants remain detained pending sentencing. 

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 FBI, HSI Baltimore, and the Maryland Transit Administration Police for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew DellaBetta and Joan C. Mathias, who are prosecuting the case.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated February 22, 2019