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Police: Baltimore's 'No. 1 trigger puller' charged with murder in 2014 killing

Baltimore police have arrested a 21-year-old they say was the city's "No. 1 trigger puller."

Baltimore's "No. 1 trigger puller," a Black Guerrilla Family gang enforcer allegedly involved at least 10 to 12 killings, was arrested this weekend, police said Monday.

Montana Malik Barronette, 21, of the 1100 block of Harlem Ave. was charged Saturday with first- and second-degree murder, assault, reckless endangerment and gun violations in a 2014 killing in West Baltimore, police said.

Barronette is a member of a BGF gang subgroup, or "bubble," referred to as "Trained to Go," or "TTG," and is a "poster child of a repeat violent offender," Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said at a news conference Monday at police headquarters.

"Barronette frequented the area of Sandtown-Winchester, Pedestal Gardens and Pennsylvania Avenue," Davis said. "He terrorized those communities."

No attorney was listed for Barronette in court records, and no phone number was listed for his Harlem Park apartment. He is being held without bail at the Baltimore City Detention Center.

He was one of 238 "top trigger-pullers" being tracked by the Police Department's war room intelligence hub since its formation in the midst of a particularly violent summer in 2015.

When homicide detectives investigated the killing in the 1300 block of W. Lafayette Avenue on May 3, 2014, Barronette's name came up, Davis said.

Chief Sean Miller, the war room's commander and the head of the department's Operational Investigations Division, said Barronette was suspected in several homicides, nonfatal shootings and robberies.

"Barronette has been Baltimore's No. 1 trigger-puller for some time now," Davis said. "He's ... no longer on the streets of Baltimore."

Barronette had argued with the victim in the May 2014 killing, 23-year-old Alfonso Williams, and Williams' sister briefly before the killing, police said. The argument appeared to be the motive for the shooting, Davis said.

Court records show police have charged Barronette with nearly 20 traffic violations in the past two years, and he was found guilty of marijuana possession and riding an illegal dirt bike in separate cases last year.

Despite rumors on the street that Barronette was the perpetrator, investigators had difficulty linking him to Williams' killing, Davis said.

"We had to amass an entire investigative effort to look into every aspect of his life, the lives of his associates, their habits, where they frequent, and we had to pull it all together to make a case against Montana Barronette," the police commissioner said.

Davis said he hopes Barronette's arrest will prompt more people to come forward with evidence against him in other violent crimes.

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