DEA: Gang infiltrated youth outreach work
A new federal indictment alleges the notorious Black Guerrilla Family regrouped after last year's sweeping indictments, anointing a new street leader who used his employment as a youth outreach worker as a cover. The wiretap investigation cites confidential informants who claim the program and others like it are affiliated with the BGF and exist to set gang members up with jobs to conceal their criminal activities.
Shortly after the records became public, Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake announced that she was suspending funding for Safe Streets violent intervention programs across the city. Just last month, Rawlings-Blake had committed $1 million to the East Baltimore Safe Streets program, which is not a part of the indictment but is referenced in an affidavit. Safe Streets has been credited with driving down shootings.
The central focus of Monday's indictment is Todd Duncan, a convicted murderer and alleged BGF member who works for Communities Organized to Improve Life, Inc., which runs a West Baltimore outreach center. COIL received $383,000 in federal grants in 2007 to start up a west side Safe Streets office, but their contract was terminated after about a year, officials said. Duncan was hired as part of that process and remained on board after the program was de-funded, continuing the same work.
The indictment calls more attention to the apparent resiliency of these gangs, as well as their ability to infiltrate legitimate enterprises. The Sun wrote last year about a group of educators who endorsed and taught from alleged BGF leader Eric Brown's handbook; and members of Johnny Butler's drug distribution ring that included a city firefighter trainee, a clerk with the state's attorney's office and Johns Hopkins.
There wasn't enough space for all this, but the affidavit spells out a number of recent shootings that the DEA's confidential sources said were connected to the BGF. Those who follow the city crime will see a number of recognizable names. Overall, that document covers far more ground and includes far more players than the actual indictment, perhaps foreshadowing something larger.
-At one point, a confidential informant's phone book is practically emptied out into the court documents. Among those who he tells the DEA are affiliated with the BGF is Nathan "Bodie" Barksdale, a drug kingpin who served as the inspiration for the Avon Barksdale character in "The Wire" and has been out of prison for a few years. Barksdale's name never appears again in the affidavit, however.
-A source explains to DEA agents that he overheard BGF members discussing the abduction and killing of Marcal Walton, and says that Kim McIntosh, one of the 13 people indicted this week, picked up the ransom money. The documents say that Baltimore police have identified a suspect in that killing.
-On page 100, they discuss the drive-by murder of Asia Carter, which occurred in Remington last month. According to the agents, one of the men said he did not like Carter, who they say was known for robbing people, but wanted to clear his name and let it be known that he was not involved in Carter's murder.
-At another point, a source relayed that Duncan had scolded a BGF member because "all of the shootings and murders [he] had been committing needed to be cleared through him." The man then "produced a large handgun and advised that he will do what ever he wants and no one will stop him."
-According to a source, Duncan was receiving 300 grams of heroin free of charge from a drug dealer named Terry Johnson, because Johnson's associates murdered Duncan's cousin, Darnell Gray. The source said that "Johnson is not charging Duncan for the heroin because he believes that as long as Duncan receives the heroin, Duncan and or his associates will not retaliate against Johnson for the murder of Duncan's cousin. [The source] stated that Duncan and his associates are extremely violent and will ultimately murder Johnson."
-On page 89, Duncan and McIntosh discuss an associate's recent arrest, and McIntosh tells Duncan that two DNA profiles can be identified within one sample. "Yeah see technology nowadays is a bitch," McIntosh is recorded as saying.