Verdict in a murder case involving an alleged member of the Black Guerrilla Family gang. In recent weeks, police have arrested more than two dozen BGF members in a major crackdown on the gang. Black Guerrilla Family is one of the most notorious gangs in the city, and they're known for running their outside operations from prison.Drug trafficking, violence, witness intimidation. Authorities say they're synonymous with the gang BGF, whose members only gain rank in prison and use contraband cell phones behind bars to run crimes through associates on the outside.
"As gangs have grown in stature in Baltimore, so has BGF's stature on the streets of Baltimore," said Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld. "Gangs really are the gathering storm for Baltimore."Recently, one BGF member was charged with trying to kill a witness in the case of former City Councilman Ken Harris. Another alleged member--who jurors just found guilty of murder--is accused of brazen witness intimidation during the trial.WJZ's newspaper partner The Baltimore Sun reports while in the courtroom, he told a witness, "I know your name. You're going down. You're going down."It led to the rare step of jurors meeting privately with the judge after, reportedly feeling frightened for their safety.But much of what Eyewitness News has learned about BGF comes from wiretapped conversations released by federal authorities who searched homes across Baltimore and indicted two dozen members last month."We hope we'll send a message to inmates that if they're talking on a cell phone in jail, there's a fair chance authorities are listening in," said U.S. attorney Rod Rosenstein.Federal prosecutors allege BGF members recruit correctional officers to help them smuggle drugs in prison, along with those cell phones."We're going to come after you and we will sustain our effort in disrupting and dismantling these types of organizations," said Ava Cooper-Davis with Drug Enforcement Agency.BGF is bold. Police questioned dozens of members last month who met openly in Druid Hill Park. Federal indictments allege BGF members "were smuggling champagne and Grey Goose vodka into the MTC."The feds say members in prison used cell phones to order hits on people who interfered with the gang's lucrative drug business.Federal prosecutors say BGF members are increasingly trying to take over the drug trade in Baltimore.
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