BALTIMORE (WJZ) — 14 suspected members of the J30 Payback Crips gang have been arrested in connection with a months-long drug investigation in northeast Baltimore, officials announced Friday.
On Wednesday, police conducted a number of search warrants in the Coldstream, Homestad and Upper Montebello areas of Baltimore and found 200 grams of cocaine, 236 grams of heroin and fentanyl, three guns and $43,000 in cash.
“A lot of hard work went into this investigation,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
The gang has operated in “The Chum” neighborhoods just west of Clifton Park for years, police said.
In total, warrants were issued for 18 people, four of whom are still being sought.
“We believe there is some correlation between this organization and some of the violent incidents that have occurred in the area,” Harrison said.
The surveillance and overtime for the bust came from a grant from the governor’s office.
Its impact will be felt immediately in the neighborhood, officials said.
“The effect that is going to have on The Chum is going to be tremendous, because of those names,” said Baltimore Police Patrol Chief Rich Worley. “When I was a major in the Northeast, they were a problem when I was there.”
Harrison had tough words for those who were arrested and those who have yet to be brought in.
“If you decide that violent crime is going to be the life you choose, we will see to it that prison will be the price you pay,” Harrison said.
Police released mugshots of nine of the people arrested, including William Barnett, Travis Bell, Shaquille Davis, Andre Deshazo, Eric Funderburke, Delorean Hopson, Spence Jeffers, Katrell Smith and Calvin Watson.
Many of those arrested are facing gang charges that would result in a minimum sentence of five years in prison.