Two plead guilty in Maryland attorney general’s prosecution of violent Baltimore gang.

Maryland prosecutors earlier this month secured two more convictions in their prosecution of a violent North Baltimore gang that they attributed four homicides and eight attempted killings to.

Eight of 11 men charged in the gang case brought by the Maryand Office of the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Unit have now pleaded guilty to varying offenses related to their participation in the so-called “39 babies” or “green team” gang.

Karon Johnson and Pierre Briggs entered guilty pleas Feb. 5. Johnson is the first of the defendants who prosecutors labeled “high-ranking” gang members to admit his part.

Johnson, 23, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, participating in a criminal organization and using a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence — four of the 104 charges he was indicted on.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Charles H. Dorsey III sentenced Johnson to life in prison, with all but 40 years of incarceration suspended. Dorsey added five years of supervised probation upon Johnson’s release. If Johnson violates the terms of his probation, Dorsey or another judge could send him back to prison for the rest of his life.

Briggs, 22, pleaded guilty to participating in a criminal organization and two counts of being a prohibited person in possession of a regulated firearm.

Dorsey sentenced Briggs to 35 years, suspending 20 years of incarceration. The first decade of Briggs’ time behind bars come without the possibility of parole. Dorsey tacked on five years of supervised probation for Briggs upon release.

As part of his plea, Johnson admitted to fatally shooting London Stuckey on Dec. 13, 2019 and Deonte Henderson on Feb. 12, 2020. Several other alleged gang members participated in the fatal shootings of Stuckey and Henderson, according to the sweeping indictment brought in July 2020.

Stuckey’s mother testified about the enduring pain she experiences daily in a written victim impact statement she submitted to the court ahead of sentencing.

“Every morning when I wake up it’s hard,” she wrote. “London is gone and I will never see my handsome son ever again. I miss him so much. I have four questions in my mind all the time that have me emotional unstable (sic) most days. How could someone do this to my baby boy? Why? How dare you and who do you think you are?”

Johnson’s attorney declined to comment. A lawyer for Briggs could not be reached.

The cases of alleged gang leader Donye Johnson, 27, “high-ranking” member Gregory Beadles, 23, and two other alleged members have yet to be resolved.

Their attorneys did not respond to requests for comment.

Those who pleaded guilty before Johnson admitted to offenses ranging from participating in a criminal gang to assault and firearms charges.

Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Baltimore Police linked fatal and nonfatal shootings to the “green team,” in part, by relying on ballistics evidence.

Members of the gang used the same guns in multiple shootings, according to the indictment. On one occasion, they used a vehicle in a shooting that they obtained by carjacking a man days earlier.

The case traces its origin to the Feb. 12, 2020, double shooting in the city’s Pen Lucy neighborhood that left Henderson, 22, dead and another man wounded.

“The ballistics evidence linked firearms used to kill Henderson [and injure a second man] to multiple incidents involving homicides, nonfatal shootings, firearms discharges, carjacking, and other violence crimes, all involving these 11 individuals,” then-Attorney General Brian Frosh said at an August 2021 news conference announcing the charges.

Attorney General Brian Frosh, center, along with Assistant Special Agent Toni Crosby, left, and Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, right, held a news conference to announce the indictment of multiple members of a Baltimore gang.
Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun
Attorney General Brian Frosh, center, along with Assistant Special Agent Toni Crosby, left, and Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, right, held a news conference to announce the indictment of multiple members of a Baltimore gang.
Officials said much of the violence attributed to the group was retaliatory. The indictment accused Briggs and Johnson of participating in at least one such shooting each, although neither was convicted of nonfatal shooting charges.

At the same news conference where Frosh unveiled the charges, then-Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the gang “terrorized our neighborhoods with violence.”

The group’s original moniker, 39 babies, is based on the 21239 ZIP code where most of the members lived, according to the indictment. It changed its name when one member came up with the “green team” idea and proposed on a group chat identifying themselves by placing green stickers on their guns.

Investigators got a wiretap for the group chat and intercepted other communications among members. Gang members discussed killing for money at least three times, according to the indictment, and used social media to “broadcast, promote and advertise their criminal activity.”

“Members of the Enterprise label themselves as ‘GreenTeam’ or ‘39babies’ in their Instagram Bios,” the indictment reads. “Members of the Enterprise post photos and videos proclaiming their membership in the Enterprise and displaying firearms with a green laser.”

At one point, according to the indictment, Beadles expressed concern in the group chat that their social media activity would lead them to be caught by authorities.