For Immediate Release
Member Of The Violent “Murdaland Mafia Piru” Bloods Gang Pleads Guilty To Racketeering And Drug Conspiracies
Shot and Killed Two Fellow Gang Members for Not Following Gang Rules
Baltimore, Maryland - Dontray Johnson, a/k/a “Gambino,” “Bino,” and “Tray,” age 33, of Baltimore, Maryland pleaded guilty today to racketeering and drug conspiracies related to their participation in the gang activities of the Murdaland Mafia Piru (MMP), a subset of the Bloods gang. As part of his gang activities, Johnson admitted committing two murders, and to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Interim Commissioner Gary Tuggle of the Baltimore Police Department; Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
“Federal authorities worked with the Baltimore City and Baltimore County Police Departments and State’s Attorney’s Offices to dismantle a criminal organization that dealt drugs and despair in Northwest Baltimore and Baltimore County,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “We are committed to using this sort of coordinated effort to bring to justice the violent gang members that terrorize our communities.”
“The Murdaland Mafia Piru and Dontray Johnson showed no concern for the Baltimore communities they flooded with murder, violence, and drugs. They irreparably damaged the families of their victims and the neighborhoods in which they operated,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Cekada. “Today’s plea shows the importance of investigating and prosecuting these violent groups who willfully destroy communities.”
According to Johnson’s plea agreement and court documents, MMP, also known as the “Mob” or “Mobsters,” is a violent subset of the Bloods gang that operates in Maryland and elsewhere. MMP was modeled after the Italian Mafia, and was organized hierarchically, with “the Don,” at the top and various “Bosses,” “Underbosses,” “Capos,” “Lieutenants,” and “Mobsters” underneath. For many years, MMP has controlled the drug trade in large swaths of Northwest Baltimore City and neighboring Baltimore County, including Forest Park, Windsor Mill, Gwynn Oak, Howard Park, Woodlawn, and Walbrook Junction. The gang’s drug shop in the 5200 block of Windsor Mill Road was particularly lucrative due to its close proximity to Interstate 70, and it frequently attracted drug customers driving from Western Maryland and neighboring states. MMP’s members enriched themselves through drug trafficking and other criminal activities, and using violence and threats of violence to intimidate or retaliate against witnesses, protect the gang’s territories, enforce debts, and eliminate rivals.
Johnson admits that he was a member of MMP and participated in the gang’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activities, including murder, extortion, robbery, witness tampering and retaliation, money laundering, and drug distribution.
Specifically, Johnson admits that on November 22, 2012, he murdered MMP member Antoine Ellis, a/k/a Poopy, in the 200 block of North Forest Park Avenue, because he had shown disloyalty to MMP. Earlier that day, Johnson had posted a comment to his Facebook account saying “198 n risen,” a reference to that year’s murder tally in Baltimore City. On September 29, 2015, Johnson murdered MMP member Brian Johnson, a/k/a Nutty B, because he refused to pay gang dues that Johnson was collecting for an MMP member.
As detailed in his plea agreement, on November 1, 2013, Johnson was featured in two rap videos that were posted to a social media website. The first video, “Boy You Lying,” was posted to enhance the gang’s status, intimidate rivals, and discourage anyone from selling drugs in MMP territory without paying its members. The second video, “Str8 Mobbin,” was posted to assert the gang’s dominance over its drug territories. It features Johnson with other MMP members, as well as footage of various MMP drug locations. Johnson brandishes a firearm in the video.
On July 31, 2015, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Johnson’s residence in Owings Mills and recovered 28 grams of heroin, 70 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition, a bulletproof vest, $1,480 in cash, and an “owe sheet” with a tally of drug debts owed by MMP members and associates.
Finally, Johnson admits that he conspired with other MMP members to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin and 280 grams of crack cocaine, and that he knew that during the conspiracy between one and three kilograms of heroin and between 280 and 840 grams of crack cocaine would be distributed.
In addition to Johnson, fourteen of twenty-six defendants have pleaded guilty in the case. Trial is tentatively scheduled for November 5, 2018 through February 1, 2019.
Johnson and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Johnson will be sentenced to 30 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for Johnson on November 16, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur praised the ATF, the Baltimore City and Baltimore County Police Departments, and the Baltimore City and Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Offices for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Christina Hoffman and Lauren E. Perry, who are prosecuting the case.