Authorities say raids shatter drug gang 35 members indicted from group linked to shootings, slayings

July 03, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Baltimore police said they shattered one of the city's most ruthless drug gangs yesterday in a series of raids targeting a ring that city police and federal agents link to at least 30 shootings and several slayings.

The alleged leader, Ronald Mitchell, 24, was arrested at his $1,000-a-month Baltimore County apartment and charged with distributing cocaine and heroin and conspiracy to commit murder. He was being held last night on a preset $500,000 bond.

Thirty-five gang members were indicted on drug charges. At least 12 were arrested yesterday as city police and federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided 17 homes in the city and two in Baltimore County.

Lt. John Tewey, commander of the Violent Crimes Task Force, said the investigation began in February and concentrated on the Harford Road corridor from Broadway to East 25th Street. He said more than 110 shootings and 12 slayings occurred along that stretch last year. Police said they have linked 30 of the shootings to the gang.

"It was apparent there was some sort of an ongoing problem," Tewey said. "These weren't just sporadic shootings. There was a turf dispute."

Police said that an organization allegedly led by Mitchell often fought with a rival drug gang run by Brian "Rilo" Johnson, who was fatally shot July 16, 1995, on East North Avenue. No arrests have been made in that case. The murder conspiracy charge against Mitchell stems from an alleged hit he tried to set up, investigators said.

Tewey said members of the gang linked to Mitchell are responsible for an Easter shooting last year that killed David Fitzgerald, 70, who was shot after he returned from church and was chatting with friends in the 1700 block of Normal Ave. Fitzgerald was hit in the head by one of 46 bullets fired by two groups of warring men. Andre Lamont Jordan, 25, was charged with murder and is in jail awaiting trial. Tewey said yesterday that Jordan was a member of the gang linked to Mitchell and has been indicted on drug charges. Police said they arrested Mitchell in his two-bedroom apartment in the 7200 block of Chippenham Place, off Rolling Road, north of Security Square Mall. Also arrested at that address and charged with conspiracy to sell drugs was his girlfriend, Taikecha Wade, 23.

Police said they seized $6,000 and drug paraphernalia from Mitchell's apartment, and a new Jeep Laredo worth $30,000. Mitchell's mother, Connie Mitchell, 53, of the 1700 block of Normal Ave. was arrested on drug charges yesterday morning )) during the raids.

Pub Date: 7/03/96

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