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Howard Co. Bloods leader, others, sentenced in gang-related crimes

The alleged leader of a Howard County branch of the Bloods street gang was sentenced to seven years and eight months in federal prison Wednesday in connection with gang operations that were run out of the county, according to a U.S. District Court news release.

Ryan Gladden, also known as "Fats," 27, was sentenced by federal judge George L. Russell III to the prison sentence and three years supervised probation following his release for conspiring to participate in a racketeering conspiracy associated with the gang, the news release states.

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According to the news release, Gladden resided in Wilkes Barre, Pa., but formerly lived in Randallstown and Baltimore. He became a member of the Bloods in 2006, and was the leader of a sub-group of the Bloods called the "Swann" set, according to the release.

He allegedly knew of violent crimes committed and planned by gang members involved weapons, including guns, in Howard County. He also was involved in drug trafficking in Pennsylvania, according to the release.

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Gladden was one of several men, some Howard County residents, that have been charged and sentenced recently in connection to the gang activity in the county, according to the release.

• Michael Dominique Johnson, aka "Ace," 20 of Columbia, was sentenced to 17 years and one month in prison in connection with three armed robberies involving drugs and cash that prosecutors say he admitted to.

• Kenneth Ragan-Armstrong, aka "Keezy", 23, of Savage, was sentenced to 16 years and one month in prison after he allegedly admitted to founding an associated gang to the Bloods. He also was charged in two drug-related armed robberies, one of which was a Laurel home invasion.

• Anthony Preston, aka "40" or "Tone," 27, of Laurel, will serve 20 years in prison for drug charges and four assaults, including an April 2013 assault inside a county convenience store. He will be formally sentenced in February, although prosecutors say he has already agreed to the 20-year sentence.

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• Giovanni Wright, aka "G," 22, of Elkridge, will serve 18 years in prison for a gunpoint robbery of a rival gang member and a drive-by shooting. He is also accused of selling firearms illegally, according to the release. He is scheduled to be formally sentenced Jan. 16 but prosecutors say he has agreed to the 18-year sentence.

• Rouchell Chesson, aka "Black," 31, of Washington, was sentenced Dec. 12 to 10 years in prison for leading another subset of the gang, according to the release.

The men were charged and arrested as a result of a long-term investigation conducted by the ATF and Howard County police, according to the release.

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