Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Heather Lynn Carter, a/k/a “Hunnilyn,” age 30, of Columbia, Maryland, to 63 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to participate in a racketeering conspiracy, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in connection with her membership in the Bloods gang operating primarily out of Howard County, Maryland.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Howard County Police Chief Gary L. Gardner; Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts; and Howard County State’s Attorney Dario Broccolino.
According to her plea agreement, since 2007, Carter was romantically involved with Anthony Preston, a known Bloods leader of the “Swann” set operating in Howard County, Maryland. As a result of this relationship, and at Preston’s behest, Carter became a female member of the Bloods, otherwise known as a “Ruby,” starting in the fall of 2007. Carter has a “Ruby” tattoo, as well as a five-pointed star tattoo, both of which symbolize her association with the Bloods.
Carter and her co-defendants were identified as members of the Bloods as the result of a long term investigation conducted by ATF and the Howard County Police Department. The investigation included four court ordered wiretaps on gang members’ cell phones. The Bloods, a national criminal street gang with members operating in and around Howard County, Maryland, committed violent acts within the gang to maintain discipline, and against rival gangs.
The investigation began with an assault and robbery of an ATF confidential informant (CI) in Columbia, Maryland, on November 8, 2011. The ATF was planning a controlled purchase of firearms from co-defendant and fellow gang member Michael Johnson, a/k/a “Ace,” a/k/a “Bloody Mike” after Johnson provided via text two photos of firearms, an assault rifle and a handgun, available for purchase by the CI. Instead of selling the guns, Johnson directed other gang members, including Bryan Mays, to rob the CI.
Among her gang activities, Carter dealt prescription pills and crack cocaine. She referred oxycodone customers to Preston, as well as sold oxycodone herself. She also sold crack cocaine at Preston’s behest, and later provided crack cocaine to Johnson, who was dealing crack with Preston. Carter was present when Bloods members carried firearms and committed acts of violence. For example, on February 22, 2012, Carter was present when Johnson and co-defendant Giovanni Wright assaulted and robbed at gunpoint a rival gang member outside the home of Johnson’s baby’s mother. Carter continued her association with, and participation in, the Bloods after witnessing this assault. She also subsequently maintained a firearm belonging to a gang member in her home.
In addition, Carter obstructed justice by lying to federal law enforcement to assist Johnson, a fellow gang member, in evading arrest on a federal warrant. On February 28, 2012, agents went to Carter’s residence in an attempt to arrest Johnson on charges related to the 2011 robbery of the ATF CI. Carter told the agents that she last saw Johnson “a few days ago,” and that she had no means of contacting him. Toll records reflect that Carter called Johnson on his cell phone shortly after agents left. That same day, law enforcement went to a motel in Hanover, Maryland to look for Johnson. Law enforcement confirmed with the clerk that Heather Carter had rented a room earlier that day and that Carter was accompanied by Johnson. Johnson never returned to the hotel. Based on the phone records between Carter and Johnson, Carter told Johnson that law enforcement was on the way to the hotel and Johnson was able to evade arrest. Despite daily efforts, law enforcement could not locate and arrest Johnson until over a week later, on March 9, 2012.
As a “Ruby,” Carter was responsible for relaying communications, both online and telephone, from incarcerated Bloods to Bloods on the street. Carter, for example, was responsible for allowing Johnson, once arrested on March 9, 2012, to communicate to other gang members and associates via Facebook, mail, and telephone while he was in jail. These communications related to organizing gang hierarchy, dividing up territory, collecting drug proceeds, and directing gang activity. Carter also encouraged and collected money from other gang members to support Johnson and other incarcerated Bloods. Carter also participated in, and facilitated, conversations between Johnson and other gang members regarding smuggling contraband into the facility.
On May 8, 2013, a search warrant was executed on Carter’s residence and evidence relating to her drug trafficking and gang association was recovered, including a .22 caliber revolver, loaded with six rounds of .22 caliber ammunition, which belonged to Giovanni Wright.
To date, 19 defendants have pleaded guilty to their roles in the racketeering and drug conspiracies. Judge Russell has sentenced co-defendants Michael Dominique Johnson, a/k/a "Ace", age 20, of Columbia, Maryland, and Giovanni Wright, a/k/a "G," age 22, of Elkridge, Maryland, to 205 months in prison and 18 years in prison, respectively. Bloods gang member Bryan Alexander Mays, a/k/a “Bam Bam,” “Boomar,” and “G,” age 24, of Columbia, Maryland was sentenced to102 months in prison for conspiring to commit robbery and using a gun during a crime of violence, for his participation in the robbery of the ATF CI. Anthony Preston, a/k/a “40,” or “Tone,” age 27, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiring to participate in a racketeering conspiracy, and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and is awaiting sentencing. Preston and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Preston will be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Mr. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Howard County Police Department, Baltimore Police Department and Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel M. Yasser and Sandra Wilkinson, who prosecuted the case.