Two members of prison gang sentenced to more jail

An inmate who was a member of a violent gang run from a state penitentiary in Western Maryland has been sentenced to life in federal prison, and an accomplice has been sent away for 20 years, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney's office.

The two men, sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, are the second and third of more than two dozen members of a Bloods gang subset called Tree Top Pirus set to be jailed as a result of a sweeping indictment filed in early 2008.

Federal authorities say gang leaders organized killings and drug deals in Baltimore and elsewhere in Maryland from jail cells at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown.

The gang earned notoriety because five of the members who were indicted were women. One was Michelle "Michelle Hell" Hebron, the convicted leader of the Tree Top Pirettes, who police said killed a man in Hagerstown and wrote a poem about it.

Hebron was convicted in federal court and sentenced to 30 years in prison. Twenty-five other gang members have been found guilty in the case and are awaiting sentencing.

The latest to be sentenced are identified as Anthony "Mo Easy" Fleming, 23, of Baltimore, and Tavon "Bloody Batman" Mouzone, 24, of Baltimore County. Both men were convicted under the federal racketeering statute, with underlying crimes of drug dealing and murder, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles sentenced Fleming to life in prison and Mouzone to 20 years. Mouzone's sentence runs concurrent to the life sentence he already is serving in the state system for a murder he committed in Baltimore County. At the time of Fleming's sentencing, state court records show that he was nearing the end of a 10-year sentence for drug distribution.

Federal prosecutors said in a statement that Mouzone and Fleming each played integral roles in the prison gang, organizing robberies, drug sales and killings. According to prosecutors, both men were serving time for other offenses while they were in the gang. Mouzone killed a Baltimore County man during a robbery in December 2006, the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.

Authorities have targeted prison gangs in several recent indictments, including one in April 2009 in which two dozen people were charged in an alleged smuggling operation that sent cell phones, lobster, champagne, vodka and shrimp to members of the Black Guerrilla Family being held in a downtown state prison. Federal agents said the incarcerated gang members also controlled street corner drug sales from their cells.

Last week, a correctional officer from Jessup was arrested and charged with federal drug offenses for allegedly helping the Black Guerrilla Family. She was the fifth Maryland prison guard charged with being connected to that gang since last year.

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