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Baltimore man pleads guilty to racketeering charges

September 19, 2008

A Baltimore man was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to conduct and participate in a racketeering enterprise known as the Tree Top Piru Bloods, a subset of the gang formed at the Washington County Detention Center in 1999, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein said.

Steve Willock, 29, must serve five years of supervised release after he is released from prison.

According to the statement of facts, Willock acted as a leader of the TTP Bloods from at least 2005 through February 2008 and directed the gang's drug distribution business, including from prison, where, in a series of recorded telephone calls, Willock and other conspirators discussed ways to obtain drugs and have them brought to the prison where Willock was housed, the U.S. Attorney's office said in a news release.

A Hagerstown woman -- along with Willock and about two dozen others -- in February was named in a federal indictment dealing with the gang.

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Michelle Hebron, charged in the October 2007 shooting death of David Leonard Moore in Hagerstown, was named in count one of the indictment.

Moore's death is one of the acts alleged in the indictment to have been gang-related. His death was mentioned under the first count of the indictment, conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity. Four other homicides in Maryland are alleged to be part of the racketeering conspiracy.

Moore, 23, was found Oct. 5, 2007, lying at the base of a staircase in the first-floor hallway of the apartment building. He was shot in the head.

Hebron and Moore were acquaintances, local investigators have said.

In April 2007, Hebron wrote to Willock to confirm TTP rules as she understood them, among them: "never discuss Tree Top Piru business with no one, never deny being blood, never switch sets without probable cause, never let roscoe (police) get your knowledge, no homosexuality, attend all 911s (gang meetings), must pay all dues," according to the indictment.

Local charges against Hebron were placed on the inactive docket earlier this year, pending the resolution of the federal charges.

-- Erin Julius

    

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