Key Players Tied To Major Drug Organization In West Baltimore Indicted

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A major blow against organized crime in West Baltimore. Police say a large scale investigation ends in several arrests.

Linh Bui reports on the operation.

The investigation resulted in nine indictments. Detectives say these are key players in the drug trade.

Cleaning up the streets. Baltimore City Police and the State’s Attorney’s Office say they’ve dismantled a major drug operation.

“That is linked to historic and recent violence,” said Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein.

Responsible for selling heroin and cocaine around Ruxton Avenue in Coppin Heights, detectives call it the most dangerous part of the western district.

In the last three weeks, there were two shootings on Ruxton Avenue. One man died.

“In excess of 64 violent crimes have taken place in this area since 2010, holding this neighborhood in hostage,” said Commissioner Anthony Batts, Baltimore City Police Department.

The nine people indicted include Franklin Henson, Monica Rimmer, Karon Shaw, Montrel Smith and Mingo Watson. Four others have not been identified. They’ve been tied to violent crimes: shootings, robberies and homicides.

All of them have prior convictions involving narcotics or handguns.

“Innocent people too often get caught in the crossfire. By moving quickly to shut down these drug conspiracies, we hopefully are able to eliminate the violence associated with them,” said Bernstein.

Detectives say they have a plan to continue stabilizing the area, but did not disclose any further details.

An investigation like this would typically take several months, but this one was finished in four to six weeks.

Four of the suspects are not being identified until they are apprehended.

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