Calling it an example of the city's efforts to tackle rising crime, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and others announced a federal indictment Tuesday charging 12 men with being part of a criminal organization that committed 10 killings.
The superseding indictment alleges that members of the "Trained To Go" gang of West Baltimore sold drugs and committed numerous acts of violence, including killing, kidnapping and witness intimidation.
The investigation was the result of a task force composed of investigators with the Baltimore Police Department and the FBI.
"These are 10 murders that are going down because of this federal investigation and federal prosecution," Davis said at a news conference at the Maryland U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore. "This is the way we have to hold violent criminal organizations accountable for their actions."
Davis' comments followed criticism a day earlier from City Councilman Brandon Scott, who questioned Mayor Catherine Pugh's efforts to stop city violence. Scott said at a meeting Monday that Pugh's administration has failed to release a detailed plan with specific goals that would hold officials accountable for crime.
Davis said the investigation into the West Baltimore gang is one example of an ongoing partnership between city and federal agencies, and is "a reminder to any and everyone in our city, to all of Baltimore, that yes, Baltimore, there is a crime plan."
Critics who say otherwise are uninformed or have ulterior motives, he said.
The 10-count indictment charges the 12 alleged members of the Trained To Go, or TTG gang, with counts including racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute drugs.
"It's almost breathtaking that in one indictment we are citing 10 murders associated with one group," acting Maryland U.S .Attorney Stephen M. Schenning said.
One of the defendants, Montana Barronette, 22, is accused of committing at least six killings between July 2015 and May 2016.
Court documents said Barronette shot and killed Lamont Randall, Gerald Thompson and Jacqueline Parker on July 5, 2015; David Moore, 24, on Nov. 8, 2015; Markee Brown, 19, on April 16, 2016, and Antonio Addison, 22, on May 25, 2016. He is also accused of intimidating a witness who was cooperating with law enforcement, and selling heroin and cocaine.
The majority of the killings in the indictment occurred in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood in West Baltimore.
"This indictment is an important demonstration of the impact of a gang in a particular neighborhood," Schenning said.
Another defendant, John "Binkie" Harrison, is accused of taking part in the triple homicide, as well as killing 22-year-old Dominique Harris on Dec. 28, 2015.
Members of the group are also accused of killing Christopher Jackson, 24, on May 25, 2016, in retaliation for Jackson's robbing a gang member of drugs and drug proceeds earlier in the month, prosecutors allege.
Another defendant, Terrell Sivels, is accused in the indictment of killing Jamie Hilton-Bey, 34, in May 2010, and Sivels and Taurus Tillman accused of killing Brandon Littlejohn, 20, in April 2011.
Attorneys for Barronette and Harrison did not respond for requests for comment Tuesday afternoon. Tillman and Sivels' attorneys declined to comment.
Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the FBI's Baltimore field office said as a result of the gang's actions, "families have been impacted and lives have been changed forever. Innocent families should not suffer because of the violent acts of others."
The city and federal task force is "responsible for identifying and targeting violent criminal activity that threatens our community," he said.
Ten defendants have been detained, and one is under supervision with pretrial services. Authorities continue to search for Roger "Milk" Taylor.
Anyone with information on Taylor is asked to contact the FBI Baltimore field office at 410-265-8080.
Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.