A Leader of the BGF Gang Convicted of Charges Arising from the Murder and Attempted Murder of Fellow BGF Members
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal jury convicted Mark Bazemore, a/k/a Uncle Mark, age 31; and Michael Smith, Jr., ak/ka Mikey, Lil Mike and Mik, age 30, both of Baltimore, and Timothy Hurtt, a/k/a Uncle Tim and Tim, age 45, of Baltimore County, today for participating in a racketeering conspiracy and drug conspiracy related to their membership in the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang. Bazemore and Hurtt were also convicted of conspiring to use and carry a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and a drug trafficking crime. Bazemore was also convicted of conspiring to commit murder in aid of racketeering; attempted murder in aid of racketeering; and carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.
The convictions were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis; Chief Gary Gardner of the Howard County Police Department; Howard County State’s Attorney Dario Broccolino; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
"If we want to stop the killing in Baltimore, we need to remove the killers from Baltimore," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
“These convictions are significant and are as a result of our on-going local, state and federal effort to combat violence in our communities,” said FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins. “This investigation and resulting convictions is proof again that the Baltimore Safe Streets Task Force is making a significant difference; there is a lot of work to do, but FBI Baltimore and our partners are committed in the fight against violent crime.”
“This is a verdict for the citizens of Baltimore to show these violent gang members that we will stop at nothing to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. “I hope this guilty verdict sends a message to those who continually harm our communities that we will work collectively to disrupt your illegal activity and organizations.”
According to court documents, the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) is a nationwide gang operating in prisons and on the streets of cities throughout the United States. BGF is involved in criminal activity, including murder, robbery, extortion, narcotics trafficking, obstruction of justice and witness intimidation in Baltimore, in Maryland, and elsewhere. The evidence showed that the defendants and other BGF members regularly paid dues to BGF and discussed gang business at meetings, including: the sanctioning of BGF members; the identities of individuals suspected of cooperating with law enforcement and actions to be taken against them; and the commission of future crimes.
According to trial evidence, Bazemore, who was a BGF leader, issued sanctions on several fellow BGF members, including the attempted murder of one BGF member who was shot on March 10, 2014, and the murder of another member who was killed on June 16, 2014. Between September and December 2013, co-defendant Timothy Gray, who was the Baltimore “city-wide” commander of BGF, sanctioned the murder of a BGF member by Hurtt and a co-conspirator. Also, Hurtt and Gray provide armed protection in a BGF drug deal. Bazemore, Smith and Hurtt collected dues from BGF members who were dealing drugs in the area of Pratt and Payson Streets, a BGF controlled open-air drug shop in Baltimore. In addition to collecting dues, the defendants conspired to operate street-level drug shops throughout Baltimore where they distributed heroin.
The defendants face a maximum penalty of life in prison for the racketeering and drug conspiracies. Bazemore and Hurtt also face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to use and carry a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Bazemore also faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering and attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and life in prison for using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar has scheduled sentencing for November 14, 2016 at 10 a.m.
Timothy Michael Gray, a/k/a “Mike Gray,” age 48, of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on November 16, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. Ten other co-defendants pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracies and are scheduled to be sentenced between November 15 and 21, 2016.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI; Baltimore City and Howard County Police Departments; and Baltimore City and Howard County State’s Attorney’s Offices for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys James T. Wallner and Clinton Fuchs, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.