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Police, prosecutors announce charges against 20 accused of being part of East Baltimore drug gang

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a press conference Thursday that charges accusing 20 men of being part of a sweeping drug conspiracy are the latest example of his department's commitment to rooting out high-level drug dealers.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a press conference Thursday that charges accusing 20 men of being part of a sweeping drug conspiracy are the latest example of his department's commitment to rooting out high-level drug dealers.(Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore police and prosecutors on Thursday announced charges against 20 alleged gang members who they said distributed fentanyl and other drugs in East Baltimore.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a news conference at police headquarters that the two-month long investigation began in December after police received an anonymous tip about a major drug-trafficking organization, later identified as the “Back Block Blippers."

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Harrison said the investigation led officers to serve warrants on 13 residences, including addresses in Owings Mills and Columbia, and search six vehicles. Police seized 18 firearms, 505 jumbo gel caps of fentanyl, other drugs, and $19,000 in cash, authorities said.

All 20 defendants have been indicted on at least two counts, including conspiracy to distribute cocaine and fentanyl and participation in a gang, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said.

“Our local drug trade fuels violence and murder in this city, so the ability to stop and intercept drug activity, especially targeting the distribution of the deadly drug fentanyl, is an integral component to tackling the violence," she said.

Two men identified as leaders of the group, Anthony “Loaf” Davis, 45, and Hugh “Hue Money” Wade, 29, both of East Baltimore, each face three counts; conspiracy to distribute narcotics, participating in a criminal gang, and organizing and supervising a gang.

Neither man had an attorney listed in online court records.

Harrison said as of Thursday that seven of the defendants were still being sought by police.

“Everywhere I go, people ask, what are you doing about the drug dealing?" Harrison said. "This is us delivering on the promise that we are doing something, and there are more of these to come.”

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