Howard County gang arrests and unsolved murder has neighbors on - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Howard County gang arrests and unsolved murder has neighbors on edge

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After a raid involving more than 200 local, state and federal law enforcement officers, 18 members of the Howard County Bloods gang have been indicted on racketeering charges.

This comes just days after a woman was gunned down in her car in Columbia.

Debbie Moasser just met her neighbor Debbie Castellano last week after their mail got switched by mistake and she returned it to her. A few days later, she was dead. Police say Castellano was shot multiple times while sitting in her car outside her apartment building on Basket Ring Road.

"She was three cars down from me. It's a little scary," says Moasser.

Moasser says Castellano had just moved to Columbia from New York and was looking forward to some big family events.

"She worked at the casino as a supervisor, and she was looking forward to going to one of her kids' graduations back home," Moasser says.

Castellano never made it. Her murder is still unsolved.

Brande Ferguson isn't shocked that crime is spreading in Columbia.

"It's everywhere out here," Ferguson says.

And on the heels on that crime, a federal grand jury has indicted 18 alleged members of the Howard County Bloods gang. They were rounded up after officers served 25 search warrants Wednesday.

They are accused of sharing firearms and committing various crimes to support the gang, everything from assaults, robberies, burglaries, home invasions to drug trafficking.

Howard County Police Chief William McMahon says "no community is immune to gang and drug activity, but it also demonstrates our commitment to ridding our neighborhoods of this criminal element."

Too little, too late for one resident.

"I'm not going to be in Columbia much longer. My lease is up in September. I'm moving," says Moasser.

Each of the indicted gang members is facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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