Police penetrate Nigerian drug gang 2 indictments on heroin charges result

January 15, 1993|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Staff Writer

It's called the Jamaican Black Mafia, but most of the members are Nigerians. Authorities say the group used a combination of violence and generosity to deal heroin in Baltimore high-rise public housing developments.

Since last spring, its leader was wounded in a shootout with a police officer and two of its members were slain in internal disputes, officials say.

And yesterday, a federal grand jury indicted two members of the organization on charges of conspiring to distribute heroin, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and weapons violations.

Bobby Gillham, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Maryland, said the indictments resulted in part from a year-old effort to crack down on violent crime in Baltimore.

"We have made a lot of arrests [of Jamaican Black Mafia members] and have brought a lot of charges since that time," said Mr. Gillham, adding that the FBI is continuing its investigation.

Charged were Victor Adeniyi Aladekoba, 22, a Nigerian national, and Alan Woodrow Webb, 27. Both gave the same Silver Spring address. They are being held by U.S. marshals.

Agents seized 200 grams of raw cocaine and three semiautomatic handguns from their home after their arrest by federal authorities Jan. 5. One of the weapons has been linked to a May 28 murder in Baltimore. The men also have been charged with drug offenses by Montgomery County police.

The FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Baltimore Housing Authority Police helped conduct the investigation.

The Nigerians called themselves "Jamaican" because of the reputation for violence associated with Jamaican drug dealers, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie M. Bennett. They sought to intimidate their customers and people in the communities, she said.

Mr. Aladekoba and Mr. Webb sold heroin from their Silver Spring address to the Lafayette Courts and Lexington Terrace public housing developments, Ms. Bennett said.

Mr. Aladekoba's brother, Jay Johnson Aladekoba, 30, is believed to be the leader of the group. A police raid linked to Jay Aladekoba uncovered $18,000 cash, $19,000 worth of heroin and two guns.

He is being held by city police on charges of attempted murder arising from a shootout with an officer last Aug. 15. Police say Jay Aladekoba pointed a 9mm handgun at Officer Vincent Moulter after being stopped for a traffic violation.

Sgt. David D. Adams of the Housing Authority police said he got a glimpse of the organization's violence firsthand last May when his police car was firebombed in retaliation for a drug seizure in the 100 block of Aisquith St. He was not injured in the attack.

Sergeant Adams said members of the group threatened residents of Lexington Terrace and Lafayette Courts. He said at least three members, including Jay Aladekoba, have been XTC charged with killing their own colleagues in disputes over money.

Federal prosecutors said at least five of the group's members have been killed in street violence and 10 have been jailed on felony charges within the past two years.

"This is an extremely violent group," said U.S. Attorney Richard D. Bennett.

But officials said the group also made efforts to endear itself to the communities in which it operated. Sergeant Adams said members once treated neighborhood children to a carnival and bought gifts for them.

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