A federal jury convicted three men Thursday of racketeering and drug trafficking for their roles in a murderous East Baltimore regime of the Black Guerrilla Family street gang, prosecutors said.
The convictions came after a two-month trial of members of the Greenmount Avenue Regime, a crew that prosecutors say committed seven murders also shootings, stabbings and robberies. Prosecutors said the gang members reign lasted for years as they intimidated witnesses, demanded paid dues, and violently guarded their turf around Greenmount Avenue in the Barclay neighborhood.
Those convicted include a man prosecutors described as the chief, Gerald "Geezy" Johnson, 35. He was also convicted of murder in aid of racketeering and possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. Johnson faces as much as life in prison.
Kenneth “Slay” Jones, 30, and Marquise “Digga” McCants, 25, also face life in prison. The three are scheduled for sentencing in April and May.
Six other men ages 23 to 36 have pleaded guilty to racketeering and drug trafficking as part of the gang. A two-year federal investigation led to the convictions, said Daniel Board Jr., the agent in charge of the Baltimore office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The gang formed about a decade ago, with members first calling themselves Young Guerrilla Family, and they lived around the 2200 block of Barclay St. and Guilford Ave. In 2007, the crew took oaths to join the Black Guerrilla Family and re-emerged as the Greenmount regime. They grew their influence through street violence and drug dealing. Prosecutors say they sold crack cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, marijuana and oxycodone.
Johnson, the leader, authorized the murder in January 2007 of someone he suspected of cooperating with police, prosecutors said. They said Jones helped commit the murder. Also they said McCants tried to kill someone in February last year, shooting the person several times in the legs and back.
Previously, Johnson was acquitted by a Baltimore jury of murder, robbery and drug charges. He had been tried in 2015 along with dozens of other alleged gang members in Baltimore Circuit Court. The cases, however, fell apart. Some defendants saw their charges dropped. Only a few were convicted of more than five years in prison.
Then federal prosecutors re-charged nine of the men under mostly the same allegations.