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July 6, 2010

Black Guerrilla Family members indicted, RICO-style

The Black Guerrilla Family gang - you remember, the ones the federal authorities claim were feasting on shrimp and salmon, puffing on fine cigars and sipping Grey Goose while directing drug deals and killings from behind bars, a la Goodfellas - are back in the headlines, with state and local prosecutors announcing a racketeering indictment against its top leaders. The indictment renews some already-released allegations as well as some new ones, and adds another corrections official to the mix, charging that she helped smuggle contraband.

The Sun's Tricia Bishop reports: 

"Alicia Simmons, 34, is accused of smuggling cell phones and heroin into prison for incarcerated members of the powerful Black Guerrilla Family, which court documents say has used such connections for years to live luxuriously behind bars and maintain mafioso-type control of its widespread criminal organization.

Simmons is the fifth Maryland prison guard implicated in the far-reaching scheme, which goes back to 2006 and includes a total of 37 defendants charged since last year."

The 23-page indictment unsealed Tuesday supersedes last year's version and builds on it. It describes the BGF as a sophisticated paramilitary operation that kept a "treasury," made motivational T-shirts (slogan: "Revolution is the Only Solution"), held meetings in Druid Hill Park, developed a gang manual, conducted counter-surveillance on law-enforcement agents and paid off prison workers like Simmons with cash and debit cards.

This case has been far-reaching and spawned multiple new stories. After obtaining a copy of the gang's "Black Book," which outlines principles to bring about revolution in the black community but which authorities allege was used to spread its message - The Sun reported that the book contained endorsements from a former mayoral candidate and other educators, who tried to push the book under the nose of aides to then-Mayor Sheila Dixon.

Rainbow Williams, who two days after leading a gang meeting at Druid Hill Park and was found in possession of a handgun and gang literature, was at the time employed by a group called Partners in Progress mentoring city youth.

After the most recent indictment, we took a look at Communities Organized to Improve Life, where authorities say alleged gang member Todd Duncan used gang outreach work as a front to control gang activities. A reference in the affidavit to the East Baltimore Safe Streets program put that group's funding temporarily on ice - they're now back in operation, though several changes were ordered after flaws were found during a review.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 11:03 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Gangs


Dear Citizens of Baltimore,

This time the trash was removed from the streets of Baltimore but what of the rest of the garbage. Now all the state and feds have to do is convict. And make certain there is no witness or jury tampering.

It’s time Citizens - GET OFF YOUR CANS and do something. TAKE BACK YOUR STREETS.

Visit your local Baltimore City Police precinct; talk to the hard working, dedicated police officers who can help you organize your neighborhoods. The Baltimore City Police are ready willing and able to help you help yourselves!!!! These dedicated, hard working people risk their lives 24/7. And what do you do?

The Baltimore Guardian Angels and Mr. Jack Baker can teach you how to organize your communities; take back your neighborhoods and clean up your communities.

Call the Baltimore Guardian Angels at 410-916-2215.

Or contact Mr. Jack Baker one of the foremost authorities on organizing a COP program at

Time is short – think about it citizens?

To no one's surprise a gang in prison induces the guards paid by the State to protect us from these thugs as their own agents in continued crime. The irrepressible G. Gordon Liddy once stated in a speech to an audience of college students," Everyone in the world is trying to stay out of prison, what moron, sign himself into prison, even as a guard, for 30 years until retirement?" Now we see why, in part because the "fring benefits" are incredible.

When does the head of Coil, inc get investigated? Wasn't she called a BGF member in one of the indictments?

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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