Drug gang informer sentenced to 8 years

Man testified in trial despite threats made against his family

May 12, 2004|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A 34-year-old man who testified in court against two accused drug dealers last week, despite violent threats against him and his family, was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday by a Baltimore Circuit Court judge.

Anthony Black, the former "street lieutenant," or second in command, for an East Baltimore drug organization run by admitted kingpin Howard Peppers, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges. He was sentenced by Circuit Judge John N. Prevas.

Authorities waited to sentence Black until he testified against two others charged in the drug ring: Barry Martin, 29, of the 2300 block of Callow Ave. and Tyrone Jackson, 34, of the 1400 block of Saratoga St.

On Monday, a jury convicted Martin of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and Jackson of conspiracy to possess the drug.

Black testified for more than an hour last week about the inner workings and code language of the drug gang, which operated in the Monument Street and Milton Avenue area from 1996 until police broke it up last year.

He testified despite fear for his family's safety. In January, four men wearing ski masks barged into his home, pointed their guns at his fiancee and 10-year-old son, and threatened to kill them if Black testified about their drug ring. His family is in the city's witness assistance program.

In addition to Martin and Jackson, 11 people were indicted last year in connection with the drug gang. They all pleaded guilty to various drug counts.

Police confiscated drugs, guns and cash during several raids at East Baltimore homes after they monitored five cellular phones with wiretaps over a seven-month period last year.

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