Baltimore police announced the indictments of two groups of Black Guerrilla Family gang members Thursday who allegedly sold drugs in West Baltimore and may have contributed to violence.
Seventeen members of a BGF crew who allegedly operated in the area of South Carey Street and West Pratt Street, near Mount Clare Junction, were indicted Sept. 9 on charges of drug distribution and conspiracy to distribute, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. He described them as "trigger pullers" and said the area within a few blocks of the intersection had been a hotbed for violence, with three homicides, 10 nonfatal shootings and 19 street robberies since the beginning of 2014.
During a recent undercover operation near South Carey Street and West Pratt Street, two men were found with guns — one an Uzi-style and both with extended magazines capable of holding many bullets, Davis said.
"We're far from the place where we want to be, but we're surely making progress," Davis said.
In a second indictment unsealed Wednesday, 17 members of another BGF crew that allegedly operated near Baker Street and McKean Avenue in Sandtown-Winchester were also charged with drug distribution and conspiracy to distribute. The few blocks around that intersection had seen six homicides, 14 nonfatal shootings and 20 street robberies since the beginning of 2014, Davis said.
Of the 34 people who were indicted in the two cases, 19 are still being sought by police.
Davis pointed to two recent federal indictments of other alleged gang members as a sign law enforcement was making strides in arresting violent offenders. Last month 21 people alleged to be members of a violent Cherry Hill gang called Hillside Enterprise were indicted. In another indictment in September, two dozen members of "Murdaland Mafia Piru," which allegedly operated in Northwest Baltimore, were charged with racketeering.
"That's 85 really violent people who also happen to be involved in the drug distribution business who are off the streets," Davis said. "That's a lot of progress. We think it'll make the community safer, particularly on the west side of the city."