BALTIMORE (AP) — A group of 11 young men who are allegedly part of a violent Baltimore gang dubbed “39 Babies” have been indicted for crimes including first-degree murder, assault, carjacking and retaliatory shootings, Maryland’s attorney general announced Wednesday.
At a news conference with city law enforcement and federal agents, Attorney General Brian Frosh alleged that the indicted individuals were part of a violent gang masquerading as a rap group. He said they branded themselves the “39 Babies” — in homage to their local zip code, 21239 – and the “GreenTeam.”
“These men used threats and violence to control their territory and retaliate against adversaries. They flaunted guns and money on social media and in music videos,” Frosh said.
According to the indictment, the investigation began with a February 2020 homicide and attempted murder in Baltimore. Ballistics evidence linked the guns used in those attacks to multiple incidents including other homicides and non-fatal shootings, among other crimes.
Authorities allege a subsequent investigation revealed that members of the criminal organization engaged in eight attempted murders, distributed cocaine, spoke about multiple murder-for-hire plots, and illegally possessed, sold, and traded guns.
Nineteen firearms were recovered during the probe along with ammunition and drugs, according to investigators.
Toni Crosby, assistant special agent in charge of the city’s office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the defendants are a strong example of the kind of criminals the ATF’s Crime Gun Enforcement Team with city police want to get off the streets.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the city’s force will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to bring justice to people who “are illegally trafficking firearms and drugs into our neighborhoods.”
Online court records did not list defense lawyers for all of the suspects. Attorneys for some of the accused men, including 20-year-old Karon Johnson, who faces more than 100 counts including murder, could not immediately be reached.