U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Maryland
36 S. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-2692
TTY/TDD: (410) 962-4462
For Immediate Release
January 29, 2010
Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney
Contacts: Vickie E. LeDuc, Public Information Officer
(410) 962-3091 (fax)
Baltimore TTP Bloods Leader Who Produced “Stop Snitching” Videos and Eastern Shore TTP Leader Convicted of Racketeering Activities
Ronnie Thomas Produced and Appeared Prominently in “Stop Snitching” Videos
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal jury convicted Sherman Pride, a/k/a Dark Black and DB,
age 35, of Salisbury, Maryland; and Ronnie Thomas, a/k/a Rodney Thomas, Skinny Suge and Tall
Vialz, age 36, of Baltimore, yesterday evening of participating in a racketeering conspiracy through
the Tree Top Piru Bloods (TTP Bloods), which engaged in narcotics trafficking, conspiracy to
commit murder and robbery. Pride also was convicted of conspiring to distribute cocaine.
The jury verdict was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod
J. Rosenstein; Baltimore City States Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy; Special Agent in Charge Theresa
R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division;
Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington
Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation; Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III; Chief James W. Johnson
of the Baltimore County Police Department; Wicomico County States Attorney Davis Ruark;
Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis; the Washington County Narcotics Task Force led by
Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore; Anne Arundel County Police Chief James Teare,
Sr.; Acting Salisbury Police Chief Ivan E. Barkley; and Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith.
Many dangerous criminals have been convicted and removed from Maryland as a result of said U.S. Attorney Rod J.
superb work by police and prosecutors on the TTP Bloods investigation,
Racketeering cases often are time-consuming, but they make a dramatic contribution to
Violent gangs are no longer isolated to our inner cities, they are invading communities says ATF Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop.
throughout Maryland and across our nation,
We are relentlessly working to stop their spread of violence; and no matter where they set up shop,
ATF will shut them down.
TTP Bloods, a violent gang, originated from a street gang known as “the Bloods” that was
formed in Los Angeles, California in the early 1970s. The Bloods broke into individual “sets”
including a subset known as Tree Top Pirus (TTP). TTP spread throughout the country, including
Maryland. TTP in Maryland has its roots in a local gang which began in the Washington County
Detention Center in Hagerstown, Maryland in about 1999. The gang was formed for mutual
protection in response to the aggression of other inmates from Baltimore and spread throughout
Maryland mostly by recruiting from inside Maryland prisons.
According to trial testimony, from 2005 to February 2008 Pride and Thomas were
members of TTP. In letters written by TTP leaders, Pride was identified as the leader of the
Maryland Eastern Shore set of the TTP and Thomas was also identified as a gang leader in
Maryland. Thomas produced both “Stop Snitching” videos. Thomas discussed with another
gang member retaliating against a store owner who refused to sell his “Stop Snitching 2” video.
Testimony was also introduced at trial that: Pride was arrested after attempting to toss a
bag containing crack and drug paraphernalia into a car to hide it from police; and that Pride told
a fellow prisoner in a jailhouse that he was a high-ranking Blood on the Eastern Shore and had
arranged the transport of kilograms of cocaine from California to Salisbury, Maryland.
Pride and Thomas face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the RICO
conspiracy. Pride also faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the drug conspiracy. U.S.
District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. scheduled sentencing for April 23, 2010 at 1:00 and 2:00
Twenty-five additional gang members have been charged in the racketeering conspiracy.
Fourteen defendants have pleaded guilty to the RICO conspiracy and 10 of those have been
sentenced to between 21 months and 30 years in prison. Five defendants charged with
racketeering conspiracy, Keili Dyson, Anthony Fleming, Michelle Hebron, Tavon Mouzone and
Keon Williams, are scheduled for trial starting March 22, 2010. Four defendants have pleaded
guilty to gun or drug offenses.
In addition to Thomas, eight other individuals connected with the “Stop Snitching”
videos have been prosecuted in federal court. Co-defendant Van Sneed, who testified in the
instant trial that he appeared in the original video, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges. His
sentencing has not yet been scheduled. Akiba Matthews, the cameraman who appeared in the
original video, was convicted of drug and gun offenses and sentenced in August 2008 to 30 years
in prison. Sherman Kemp, who was prominently featured in the original video, pleaded guilty to
drug and gun offenses and was sentenced in October 2008 to 15 years in prison. George Butler,
who appeared in the original video, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute drugs and was
sentenced to 10 years in prison. Warren Polston, who speaks in the original video, pleaded
guilty to drug trafficking and was sentenced to five years in prison. Eric Bailey, who proclaimed
rat poison the cure for cooperators in the original video, was sentenced to 37 months for a gun
crime. Former Baltimore City police officers William King and Antonio L. Murray, whose
names were featured in the original “Stop Snitching” video, were convicted of robbery, drug
trafficking and firearms offenses and sentenced in June 2006 to 315 years and 139 years in
Mr. Rosenstein and Ms. Jessamy gave special thanks to Secretary Gary Maynard of the
Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Commissioner J. Michael
Stouffer of the Maryland Division of Correction; Director Patrick McGee of the Maryland
Division of Parole and Probation; and the officers at the Western and North Branch Correctional
Institutions and the Wicomico County Detention Center for their work in the investigation and
prosecution of this case.
Mr. Rosenstein and Mrs. Jessamy also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hanlon,
and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Mason, a cross-designated Baltimore City
Assistant States Attorney, who are prosecuting the case and Assistant States Attorney LaRai
Forrest who assisted in the prosecution.