Bloods Gang Leader Sentenced In Howard County Racketeering Conspiracy
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III sentenced Ryan Gladden, a/k/a "Fats," age 27, today to 92 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to participate in a racketeering conspiracy, in connection with the Bloods gang operating primarily out of Howard County, Maryland.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Howard County Police Chief Gary L. Gardner; Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts; and Howard County State’s Attorney Dario Broccolino.
The defendant was identified as a member of the Bloods as the result of a long term investigation conducted by ATF and the Howard County Police Department. The Bloods, a national criminal street gang with members operating in and around Howard County, Maryland, committed violent acts within the gang to maintain discipline, and against rival gangs.
According to his plea agreement, Gladden was a resident of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania who played football on a semi-professional team in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He formerly resided in Baltimore City and Randallstown, Maryland. Gladden has been a member of the Bloods gang since 2006. He became a leader of the “Swann” set, a sub-group of the Bloods, and knew of violent crimes committed, or being planned by gang members, using guns and other dangerous weapons. He was also involved in drug trafficking in Pennsylvania, including marijuana and prescription pain pills.
To date, 19 defendants have pleaded guilty to their roles in the racketeering and drug conspiracies. Michael Dominique Johnson, a/k/a "Ace", age 20, of Columbia, Maryland was sentenced to 205 months in prison, after admitting that he committed at least three armed robberies of individuals in which drugs, cash and/or other items were stolen; assaulted others; and sold crack cocaine, oxycodone and other drugs. Johnson also prostituted females, including a minor.
Kenneth Ragan-Armstrong, a/k/a "Keezy," age 23, of Savage and Laurel, Maryland, was sentenced to 193 months in prison after admitting that he founded “Cut Throat Committee,” or “CTC,” a gang whose members are associated with and/or members of the Bloods gang. Ragan-Armstrong committed at least two armed robberies of individuals in which drugs, cash and/or other items were stolen. During one of the robberies, a home invasion in Laurel, Maryland, he pistol whipped the victim on the head resulting in serious bodily injury. Ragan-Armstrong regularly sold drugs, primarily marijuana. During his two day sentencing hearing, witnesses also testified about Ragan-Armstrong’s participation in a sexual assault that occurred in December 2010 at an apartment in Catonsville, Maryland. The Court credited the evidence of the sexual assault when it imposed Ragan-Armstrong’s sentence.
Anthony Preston, a/k/a “40,” or “Tone,” age 27, of Laurel, Maryland, admitted to directing or participating in at least 4 assaults, including an April 20, 2013 assault of a former gang member with a knife and mace in a convenience store. Preston is seen on the store’s surveillance video hitting the girlfriend of the gang member in her face and attempting to spray her with mace. Bystanders, including a young child, were injured by the mace. Preston was later overheard by law enforcement admitting to the assault and stating that if he’d had his gun, he would have killed the man. Preston also was a leader in drug trafficking, selling drugs, including crack cocaine and oxycodone, as early as 2007. Preston, who was previously convicted of armed robbery and attempted armed robbery, has agreed to be sentenced to 20 years in prison at his sentencing scheduled on February 6, 2015.
Giovanni Wright, a/k/a "G," age 22, of Elkridge, Maryland, admitted that he and a co-defendant robbed a rival gang member at gunpoint. In January 2013, Wright fired a gun at a victim’s residence as he and another co-defendant drove by in a truck. Two bystanders were outside and their car was damaged in the shooting. Wright also sold firearms with and to fellow gang members who were prohibited from possessing the firearms. Wright has agreed to be sentenced to 18 years in prison at his sentencing scheduled for January 16, 2015.
Rouchell Chesson, a/k/a “Black,” age 31, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced on December 12, 2014 to 10 years in prison. , Chesson was a leader in the “Tree Top Piru” or “TTP” set of the Bloods gang who directed and participated in, or had knowledge of, robberies committed by fellow gang members, sold guns, and dealt heroin and prescription pills, to and with fellow gang members.
Mr. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Howard County Police Department, Baltimore Police Department and Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel M. Yasser and Sandra Wilkinson, who prosecuted the case.