Baires v. State, Md. App. (1/28/2021)
nothing in the language of 9-804 requires the individual defendant to have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity. All that is required is that the defendant have knowledge that “members of the gang” had engaged in the pattern of such activity. In order for defendant to be convicted of participation in a criminal gang at trial, the State must introduce evidence showing that defendant had knowledge that MS-13 members were engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity. State failed in their burden.
9-804(a)(1) all that is required is that the defendant have knowledge that “members of the gang” had engaged in the pattern of criminal gang activity. Nothing in this section limits the prosecution to instances of participation where there is evidence that the defendant had already or subsequently personally participated in a pattern of gang activity. The State is not bound to activities in which the defendant personally participated. This statute requires that State to establish a pattern of criminal gang activity, the status quo also requires that the State prove the defendant possessed knowledge that the gang members engaged in such gang activity.