11 January, 2010

PDL Bloods Gang Member Pleads Guilty

PDL Bloods Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Carjacking and Drug Dealing

Baltimore, Maryland - Gary Knight, age 18, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, and other drugs and carjacking, related to his gang activities.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division and Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.

According to Knight’s plea agreement, in the early 1970s, a street gang that went by the name of “the Bloods” was formed in Los Angeles, California. The Bloods spread to other states and broke into individual units or “sets” — a term for a smaller criminal organization within the larger Bloods entity. Each sect was identified or affiliated with a certain street, neighborhood, or area. ATF agents in Baltimore have been investigating a Bloods sect known as the Pasadena Denver Lanes (also known as “the Lanes,” “PDL,” and “L-Gang”). This Baltimore street gang was responsible for the distribution of large quantities of illegal narcotics, including crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. The PDL gang also committed acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assaults, robberies, and other violent activities. Gary Knight was a member of the PDL Bloods in Baltimore.

From at least January 2008 to May 2009, Knight participated in the PDL gang activities. Specifically, Knight sold heroin, crack cocaine, and other drugs, distributed heroin and crack cocaine to other PDL Bloods members and participated in gang sanctions and other violence against PDL members for disobedience. Knight was overheard on numerous calls discussing his involvement in drug trafficking and gang-related activities. Knight is responsible for the distribution of between 500 grams and 1.5 kilograms of crack cocaine and 3 to 10 kilograms of heroin during the course of the conspiracy.

In addition, Knight admitted that on May 9, 2009 he carjacked a woman as she was parking her car and stole her black 2007 Nissan Sentra. During the carjacking Knight, who carried what appeared to be a black gun, ordered the woman to get into the trunk of the car. The woman refused and began struggling with Knight. In the course of the fight, the victim noticed that the gun was a pellet gun. Knight tossed the pellet gun to the ground and choked the woman until she lost consciousness and forced her into the trunk of the car. The victim regained consciousness inside the trunk and while the car was in motion was able to pull the trunk release and open the trunk enough to roll out of the car. The victim then ran away in search of a police officer. Unable to find an officer the victim ran back to her home and called 911. Officers at the home observed bruises on the victim’s neck and took photographs. Officers also recovered the pellet gun. On May 12, 2009, members of the Regional Auto Theft Task Force were in the 1500 black of Abbotson Drive in Baltimore when they saw the black 2007 Nissan Sentra being driven by Knight. Police stopped the car and Knight was arrested. During a subsequent taped interview, Knight advised police that he was a Bloods gang member and that his rank in the gang was increased by committing the carjacking.

Knight faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison on the drug charge and a maximum of 15 years in prison for the carjacking. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for April 1, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.

Mr. Rosenstein and Mrs. Jessamy praised the ATF’s Violent Crime Impact Teams and the Baltimore City Police Department, for their investigation of this case.

The prosecutors expressed their appreciation to Secretary Gary D. Maynard and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for their assistance in the investigation.

Mr. Rosenstein and Mrs. Jessamy also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kwame J. Manley and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Traci Robinson, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to EXILE cases, who are prosecuting the case, and Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorneys Staci Pipkin and Brandis Marsh, who assisted in the prosecution.

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