Saturday, January 10, 2015

Gang Member Enters Police Station Armed

Baltimore police officers are on heightened alert after they disarmed a man who took a loaded handgun into a police station. Police said Jason Armstrong, 29, told them he was acting on orders of the Black Guerrilla Family gang.

They said he walked into the Northeastern District station on Argonne Drive near Morgan State University shortly before 9 a.m. smelling of marijuana. Officers searched him and found a .22-caliber handgun with a bullet in the chamber, marijuana and cocaine.

Police said he told officers he had been ordered by BGF leaders to walk into a police district station with the gun and drugs to test police security. Armstrong was taken into custody and faces narcotics and gun charges, police said. His charging documents had not yet been posted to the state’s online database Tuesday night, and neither he nor an attorney could be reached for comment.

Batts said he plans to convene a meeting with “federal partners” including the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to discuss the Black Guerrilla Family. Baltimore FBI spokeswoman Amy J. Thoreson said the agency has offered Baltimore police any assistance it can provide.

In early December, police union officials in New York circulated information they said they received from a Maryland police department that the gang would target its officers. Batts, asked about the warning during a Twitter chat with residents at the time, called it an “anonymous hoax.”

The Baltimore FBI office later issued a memo saying the gang was targeting “white cops” in Maryland. The memo said a gang contact claimed that BGF members linked to the corruption scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center wanted to “send a message” by attacking white officers.