BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Police battle back against a notorious Baltimore gang -- the Black Guerrilla Family. Members are accused of intimidating and killing more than a dozen people.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the massive strike against the gang.
Police issued 48 arrest warrants -- all in the Greenmount area -- a place they say has been plagued by gang violence.
Driving down the darkened streets of the Greenmount community -- where murals painted on walls remember those who lost their lives. It's there, police say, the Black Guerrilla Family terrorizes the streets.
"They need to be off the street where people can sleep at night and feel safe," said Dale Hargrave.
Now -- many of them are. Police and federal agents launched raids Thursday morning -- going after 48 alleged members and associates of the Greenmount BGF.
Investigators say the gang is connected to at least 13 murders and 12 shootings dating back to 2005. One of those killed was Carlos Williams, who investigators say was targeted because he opened a drug rehab center near the place gang members sold drugs.
It's a violent streak that's kept neighbors indoors.
"I walk my dogs and I take my butt in the house," a man said.
The police commissioner says the raids are just the beginning.
"They are responsible for the vast majority of the violence, the death, the destruction that's happening in our communities," said Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. "For us within our organization, they are our target. This is where we start destabilizing them. This is where we start cutting the head off of this organized group and bringing them into justice."
"This sweeping indictment against BGF gang members will dismantle and eliminate their organization," said State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein.
Dale Hargrave with the New Greenmount West Community Association hopes that's true.
"If this roundup and the anticipated convictions hold steady, it's going to be good for everybody," he said.
So people living there can walk the streets without fear of violence.
Prosecutors are hoping to try many of the suspects together under the city's gang statute. That comes with a maximum 20-year sentence.
The Black Guerrilla Family is the same gang investigators say led a widespread contraband smuggling operation in the Baltimore City Detention Center.
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