Feds are in the game, and they're serious

Dan Rodricks

Guys with guns in the city of Baltimore: I got a Super Bowl Sunday gift for you. Some people pay $100 an hour to get this good stuff. You're getting it for free -- a little advice that could change your life. Here goes:

The feds are in the game now -- really in the game now -- so it's a good time to get out of it.

The feds are going to clothesline you, grab your mask, twist your neck and kick you in the groin. And no one's going to throw a flag.

Be a felon -- and many of you are -- with a gun in Baltimore and you're going away for a long time without parole.

You won't get to watch the big game with your homies again until something like Super Bowl LX.

Can you do Roman numerals?

Can you catch my point?

Here's a suggestion: Get out of the game while you can. Put the guns away, throw them in the Patapsco. Go see the pastor of your mother's church. Give me a call and I'll help you find a real job, or put you in touch with people who can.

You don't want federal time.

You remember the North Avenue Boys? They were the bad dawgs around here for a while, selling heroin and crack for years, shooting and killing rivals.

But the North Avenue Boys are all gone now. Several are doing time in federal prison -- anywhere from 25 to 40 years each.

On Friday, yet another North Avenue Boy, former fugitive Corey Grant, got 20 years in prison for using a gun while dealing drugs.

Grant is just 27.

I remember 27, a beautiful time, an age when most young men are working hard and having fun -- establishing a career, buying a nice ride, wearing hip clothes, romancing the ladies, watching the Super Bowl with friends.

Not Corey Grant. He's facing 20 years of cinder block.

Have you heard of Baltimore Exile?

If not, you'd better pay attention.

The feds, Baltimore cops and prosecutors finally have this project in place, and it's easy to understand: If you've already been convicted of a felony -- and many of you have -- and you get caught in Baltimore with a firearm, you're going federal for a long time.

It's the feds' effort to reduce the sickening rate of shootings and homicides in this town. They've already sent a bunch of guys away.

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