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Crime

Baltimore gang member pleads guilty to conspiracy to participate in racketeering; deal would result in 20-year sentence

A member of a Baltimore gang known as Triple-C, which was charged with dozens of shootings, including 18 murders and 28 attempted murders, has pleaded guilty.

Zeno Burnette, 24, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise with the Cruddy Conniving Crutballs. If the court accepts the guilty plea, Burnette would serve 20 years in federal prison. He will be sentenced Jan. 6. His attorney, David Walsh-Little, declined to comment.

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Burnette and other members of the violent street gang participated in a pattern of criminal racketeering activities from 2015 to 2020, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron.

These crimes include more than a dozen murders and numerous nonfatal shootings, robberies and carjackings, according to prosecutors. The volume of violence attributed to the group over five years is the most chronicled in a single indictment in recent memory and spans the city, The Sun reported in June 2021.

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“The violent criminal acts were committed in the effort to promote the reputation of Triple-C and to instill fear in the neighborhood,” the release says.

Burnette participated in at least five attempted murders, including of two rival gang members, and the December 2018 murder of Corey Moseley, 17, in the 4900 block of Green Rose Lane. His co-conspirators committed 16 murders, at least 20 attempted robberies, two robberies and three carjackings, prosecutors said.

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The enterprise, also known as SCL and recently TRD, benefited financially from selling narcotics, murdering drug dealers, taking contract killings and engaging in street robberies, according to the release.

“Triple C members also robbed dice games for cash and occasionally carjacked vehicles. Members divided the proceeds of the robberies and murders among members who participated, and often contacted each other to commit a robbery if that member needed money,” the release says.

Gang members routinely used social media to identify and locate victims and to share information concerning possible retaliation for violent crimes committed by gang members. The gang and associates used at least 14 firearms to commit crimes, often trading with one another or other groups to avoid detection through ballistic evidence.

They limited conversations about criminal plans to members of Triple C and critiqued one another after committing crimes regarding ways to improve their actions, according to prosecutors. Triple-C members were indicted last year by federal prosecutors, the ATF and city police.

Co-defendants 21-year-old Rashaud “Shad” Nesmith and 23-year-old Michael “Mikkie” Chester, both of Baltimore, in June 2022 also pleaded guilty to participating in racketeering conspiracy.

In exchange for their guilty pleas, Chester would serve 20 years and Nesmith 40 years in federal prison. Chester’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7, and Nesmith’s is Oct. 28.

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Baltimore Sun reporter Cassidy Jensen contributed to this article.


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