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October 20, 2011

Another BGF leader sentenced

Another leader of the Black Guerrilla Family and a co-defendant were sentenced this week in federal court. Fifty-seven-year-old Ray Olivis, also known as "Unc," received 11 years from U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. for racketeering conspiracy. Erik Ushry, 27, was sentenced to 57 months in prison on drug conspiracy charges.

Here's how the U.S. Attorney's Office characterized Olivis' participation: 

According to his plea, from 2006 through June 2010, Olivis was one of the leaders of BGF, enforcing discipline in the gang and directing and participating in the drug trafficking activities of the gang. It was forseeable to Olivis that during the conspiracy he possessed with intent to distribute between 700 grams and one kilogram of heroin. According to Ushry’s plea agreement, from September 2009 through April 2010, Ushry distributed between 80 and 100 grams of heroin in and around Baltimore as part of the conspiracy.
Specifically, while BGF leader and co-defendant Eric Brown was incarcerated, he extorted a fellow inmate for protection from violence at the hands of BGF members and assaulted another inmate who failed to make timely extortion payments to BGF. Brown and Olivis transferred some of the proceeds of BGF’s illegal activities, including drug trafficking and extortion, into prepaid debit card accounts. In addition, Brown arranged for contraband to be smuggled into correctional facilities through the use of couriers and corrections employees. Co-defendant Rainbow Williams delivered contraband, including narcotics, to corrections officers to be smuggled into correctional facilities, sometimes paying the officer for smuggling the contraband into prison. Williams even attempted to smuggle contraband into a Maryland correctional facility via a pair of tennis shoes, but he was discovered by corrections officials.
During intercepted phone conversations, Olivis and Williams discussed the day to day operations of BGF, violations of BGF protocols, and the sanctions that should be ordered against the members violating those protocols. In a phone conversation, Olivis and other BGF members discussed retaliating against a suspected informant and plans to assault an inmate who had been involved in the murder of another BGF member’s brother.

Eric Brown, the 42-year-old leader of the gang, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on August 18, 2011. Rainbow Williams, age 32, of Baltimore, was sentenced to 151 months in prison on August 30, 2011.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 2:13 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Gangs, Prisons

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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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