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Baltimore police announce takedown of 'Black Magic' fentanyl crew

Baltimore police say they arrested 11 people behind the violent “Black Magic” drug crew and seized guns, cash and more than 400 gel caps of fentanyl.

The crew sold fentanyl and cocaine in the Penn-North neighborhood of West Baltimore, police said.

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“This is a very problematic area in the city for violence,” interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said at a news conference Wednesday. “Yesterday’s takedown could have a dramatic impact on that area.”

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said prosecutors intend to charge Antonio Johnson and Davon Jones as “drug kingpins.” A conviction under the kingpin law brings a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years.

“Our local drug trade fuels violence and murder in the city,” she said.

Police and prosecutors also announced drug charges against Sebastian Bardney, Dana Stewart, Shawn Courtney, Jarrell Wilson, Ashley Hargrove and Derrick McFadden.

Police spokesman Jeremy Silbert said they are not yet identifying the last three defendants. Online court records did not list those charged or their attorneys.

The alleged drug dealers were arrested Tuesday, and police said they also seized $16,000 in cash, seven illegal guns, 460 vials of cocaine and 100 grams of fentanyl.

Last month, Mosby and the U.S. Attorney for Maryland Robert Hur appeared together to announce plans to prosecute Baltimore’s fentanyl dealers in federal court, where punishments are stiffer.

A powerful opioid drug, fentanyl killed nearly 1,600 people last year in Maryland, many of them in Baltimore, according to state health officials. A decade ago, the drug killed 26.

On Wednesday, Mosby said the “Black Magic” crew will be prosecuted in Baltimore Circuit Court. She declined to say why the case would not be taken to federal court.

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