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May 15th, 2009
04:08 PM ET

'Special' gang members go on trial for murder

Tricia Bishop
Baltimore Sun

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They called themselves "Special" and ran their Northeast Baltimore drug operation with the precision of a Swiss watch, according to a federal prosecutor, who outlined the group's "absolutely unrelenting violence" Wednesday during opening statements in the trial of three city men accused of drug conspiracy and multiple murders – including that of a government witness.

"Special doesn't tolerate snitches," Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Dwyer said, then she promised to bring down the alleged gang by the very thing they supposedly hate: cooperators.

To prove their case, the government will rely largely on the testimony of Baltimore criminals, including Van Sneed, a convicted Bloods gang member who once appeared in the infamous underground DVD Stop Snitchin'. In the video, he calls snitches "cowards." He's facing life in prison for participating in a "racketeering enterprise," though his sentence could be reduced if he provides substantial cooperation.

Defense attorneys for the three defendants – Melvin Gilbert, 34; James Dinkins, 37; and Darron Goods, 24 – one by one pointed out the credibility issues with that kind of witness and what they said was a simple fact: There is no physical evidence linking the men to the crimes in the case.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Gun Violence
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. ronvan

    It is a sad commentary for our justice system that we have to beg, make deals, accept plea bargains, and on & on, to put scum in jail.
    Surprisingly I understand the "no snitch" thing, but it can be overcome.

    May 16, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  2. Erik, Baltimore MD

    You say that living in a different part of the country. Yet if you were to come here, and live for a year you would see what actually goes on. Try reading one of our local news papers "citypaper" and read the murder ink column. Shootings, stabbings and a lot of other pointless crimes go on hourly. Baltimore was once a beautiful city and now has fallen between the cracks. Blame the parents! Blame these families who promote teenage pregnancy and allow their children to drop out of school. Most of the crime comes from the youth. These kids do not go to school, and just stay home and cause trouble on the streets. While the parents could careless, just as long as they receive their unemployment checks, welfare or for most they have their young ones go out make money and bring it home. The government can only do so much. It’s time for Families to grow up and take responsibility!

    May 16, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  3. Gilby-HI

    Guess where Nancy Peloci is from?
    Baltimore!
    Her father was mayor of the city for several term.
    This might explain her attitude and style.
    moxie

    May 15, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  4. michael Turner

    It is time for white America to take a stand against black crime in our cities, by doing so perhaps the blacks community will take a firmer stand against violence. Let black Americans know that they have new slave masters......BLACK THUGS. Perhaps you can embarrass them to do something or you can continue paying higher taxes to keep them in jail.
    Yes I'm black.

    May 15, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  5. Terry, TX

    This "no snitch" attitude is heinous and retaliation to people who come forward to talk is heinous. Those that perpetuate this attitude should never call 911 for law enforcement or hospital care. You so tough ...you handle it. Communities should holler and scream from the tallest building and do something constructive to clean these animals from their communities and children. They would if they were child sexual perverts.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm |