ROCKVILLE, Md. — In Montgomery County, Maryland, — home to the National Institutes of Health, Marriott International and Lockheed Martin — gangs, including the international MS-13 and the locally-grown Hit Squad, are at fault for 18 homicides over the past two years, and prosecutors and police want them stopped.
“Does it trouble me that as of last Friday, 26 percent of the jail population in Montgomery County identified as a gang member? Yes, that troubles me,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy as he announced last Wednesday the first-degree murder conviction of Rico LeBlond, who McCarthy described as a verified member of Hit Squad.
“The gang that is responsible for more than any is MS-13, but Hit Squad, I believe, is responsible for the second highest total in terms of homicides,” said McCarthy. “Unlike MS-13 … Hit Squad is a local gang, born and raised in Gaithersburg and Montgomery Village.”
The county’s top prosecutor wants more resources to counter gang violence. He wants to pursue gangs using federal anti-racketeering laws to break up gang activities with the goal of averting deadly violence.