By Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, [email protected]
The federal murder and racketeering trial for eight men who allegedly terrorized the Sandtown-Winchester community of West Baltimore as far back as 2010 began today. The group of drug dealers and assassins, who are known as “Trained To Go,” murdered 10 people between 2010 and 2016, according to federal prosecutors.
The Baltimore Sun reports that among the murdered was a police informant named Guy Coffey, 28 who was identified as an informant in a letter sent by a defense attorney to one of the defendants, which allegedly led to a $20,000 hit on Coffey. He was gunned down in June. “This was a targeted killing,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Gardner told a federal judge in Baltimore last week according to the Sun. “The government was relying heavily on Guy Coffey’s testimony.”
Prosecutors want the judge to allow them to present Coffey’s testimony.
Ten of the alleged gang members were in jail last year on federal charges. Eight of the men will be on trial, which is scheduled for five weeks; one of the defendants has already pleaded guilty, while another, Roger “Milk” Taylor, remains at-large.
The defendants are accused of murder, kidnapping, intimidating witnesses, as well as selling heroin, marijuana and cocaine in Sandtown-Winchester beginning in 2010. The gang allegedly served as hired guns by other street gangs, including the “Black Guerrilla Family” and the “Young Go Getters.”
Perhaps the most violent of the defendants, 23-year-old Montana Malik Barronette, was named Baltimore’s `number one trigger puller’ and is accused of at least six homicides between July 2015 and May 2016.
Barronette was mistakenly released from jail in 2017 and made his way to Brooklyn, N.Y., to watch Gervonta “Tank” Davis, a world flyweight champion and Sandtown native fight. Barronette was arrested hours later in Reisterstown, Maryland. All of the defendants face life in prison.