Baltimore, Maryland - U. S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Steve Willock, age 29, of Baltimore, Maryland, 25 years in prison followed by five years of probation after Willock pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to conduct and participate in activities a racketeering enterprise known as the Tree Top Piru Bloods (TTP Bloods), announced the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Baltimore City State Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy. This case is the result of a long-term joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Baltimore City State Attorney's Office and the Prosecutor of the United States. "We have to coordinate the implementation of laws against gangs," said U. S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. "We are blessed in Maryland, including local, provincial and federal agencies work together to investigate and prosecute violent gangs. I am grateful to prosecutors and local police and corrections officials declare that help in our fight against the whole gang initiative. "
"This federal sentence demonstrates the strength and success of our partnership with the local office of the Prosecutor of the United States to gang violence in Maryland prosecuting, said State Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy." This joint investigation was prepared in response to the expertise of specialized investigative prosecutors who worked with federal troops and local authorities are entitled to a violent drug and its leaders to dismantle. It was a strategic move beyond street-level arrests, inflicting a heavy blow to a violent narcotics gang in Baltimore.
"Here's the proof," said ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge David L. McCain, "that we have a great step forward in the fight against gang violence and violent offender at once."
Under the plea agreement, from a TTP Bloods street gang called "Bloods" that was founded in Los Angeles, California in the early 1970s. As time passed, the Bloods spread to other places and broke into individual "sets." Such Bloods game based in Compton, California was called Piru Bloods. This set was a subset known as Tree Top Pirus (TTP). The name derived from a group of streets in Compton named after trees.
TTP spread throughout the country, including Maryland. TTP in Maryland has its roots in a local gang which began in the detention center in Washington County in Hagerstown, Maryland in about 1999. TTP spread in Maryland, mainly due to recruitment in prisons in Maryland. Over time, a group of female gang members are a subset of TTP Pirette called the Tree Top.
According to the statement of the facts in connection with the conspiracy of TTP gang members would meet regularly, the prior acts of violence and other crimes committed by gang members against members of rival gangs and others to discuss to notify the other about the gang members who were arrested or held to the discipline of TTP gang members to discuss, examine the interaction of police with gang members, sharing with them the identity of individuals who might not coincide with the law and to propose measures to be taken against these individuals , plan and agree on committing future crimes, including murder, robbery, drug trafficking and abuse, and the means to cover these crimes and to strengthen the rules of the gangs. Gang members and associates of TTP TTP purchased, maintained and distributed a collection of firearms used in criminal activities by members of TTP. Besides TTP gang members and associates of TTP acts of murder and other acts of violence against rival gang members and the discipline imposed in TTP itself, and acts of violence committed on other occasions deemed necessary.
Since at least 2005 to February 2008, Willock acted as a leader of the TTP Bloods gang and ran the business of distributing drugs, including prison, where a series of recorded telephone calls, Willock and other conspirators discussed ways to get drugs and have taken to the prison where Willock was housed. Furthermore Willock contact with TTP leaders in Compton, California to California leaders complete history of the band and get them to describe the organization and the leaders of the TTP in Maryland. Willock also used its power to conduct the business of prison gangs, including the ordering of the meetings of the gangs, the degradation of a gang member and advising another that the gang members who are not the rules can be punished.
Twenty-seven additional gang members were indicted in the racketeering conspiracy. Van Sneed, age 32, of Baltimore, Maryland, Shaneka Penix, 22, of Dundalk, and Orlando Gilyard, age 21, of Woodlawn, Maryland, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy. Gilyard was sentenced to 115 months in prison. Sneed and Penix faces a maximum of life in prison. Cost of other suspects are pending.
United States Attorney Rosenstein and Baltimore City State Attorney Jessamy praised the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Baltimore City Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department, Wicomico County State's Attorney Office, Wicomico County Sheriff's Office, Washington County Narcotics Task Force, Western Correctional Institution, North Branch Correctional Institution, Anne Arundel County Police Department, the New York Police Department and the Department of Public Safety and the Maryland Correctional Services for their investigation of this drug against Organized Crime Enforcement Task Force case.
Mr. Rosenstein and Mrs. Jessamy also thanked Assistant U. S. Attorneys Jason Levin and Steve Weinstein, and U. S. Special Assistant Attorney Christopher Mason, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State Attorney in the prosecution of the case and the Assistant State Attorney Laraia Forrest who assisted in the prosecution.