''Skinny Suge'' ,Producer Of 'Stop Snitching' DVDs, Sentenced To 20 Years In Federal Prison

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The star and co-producer of the "Stop Snitching" videos — a man who came to symbolize Baltimore's violent street scene and a culture that threatens witnesses who cooperate with police — was sentenced Friday to nearly 20 years in federal prison.

Removing Ronnie Thomas, better known as "Skinny Suge," from city streets ends a years-long drama in which his popular underground DVDs flouted authority with obscene anti-police rants showing "corner boys" taunting police and waving guns — practically daring officers to confront them.

The first video surfaced in 2004 and was followed by a sequel in 2007, prompting Baltimore police to counter with a video of their own, "Keep Talking." A bizarre showdown between the city's law enforcement and drug dealers played out on television screens instead of on street corners.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said the intent of the "Stop Snitching" videos was to "try to discourage people from making their neighborhoods safer and to intimidate people. … We're talking about kids who are destroying each other for no good reason."

In an interview after Friday's sentencing, Bealefeld said he doesn't "expect that [Thomas] is going to come out and issue some sort of statement saying, 'Hey, I was wrong and what I did was dumb.' But I hope that the community says, 'Hell no, we won't stand for it.' "

He added that the movie trailer should now be changed to incorporate this caveat: Embrace the video's message "and you will find yourself in federal prison."

Eight other people associated with the videos have been prosecuted in federal court, including a cameraman and other prominent stars, most of whom are now in prison for 10 or more years on drug and gun convictions.

Selling for $9.99 over the Internet, the videos attracted the attention of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who used them as a springboard to speak out against the issue of witness intimidation. The videos damaged the image of city native and Denver Nuggets basketball star Carmelo Anthony, who made a brief appearance on the first DVD.

Also affected were two Baltimore police officers whose names were featured on the original video. They were arrested and convicted of robbery, drug trafficking and firearms offenses and sentenced to 139 and 315 years in federal prison.

Though the videos were condemned by prosecutors, police, politicians and the public, the co-producer of "Stop Snitching 2," Rodney Bethea, defended them in an interview with The Baltimore Sun in 2007. "People are surviving the only way they know how," he said then, adding later, "What I'm doing is exposing the social conditions."

However, police and prosecutors said the videos are nothing more than warnings to witnesses that they'll be harmed or killed if they call the police.

"We don't know who the snitches are, but when we find out, we gonna bust a cap," a young boy holding a gun says on the second video. Article: Baltimore Sun
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Tags: baltimore, dvds, federal, prison, snitching, stop


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Comment by Dez DaRealest on June 29, 2010 at 7:23pm
I wanna see that, "Keep Talkin" video now.
Comment by KING on June 29, 2010 at 4:35pm
Comment by Chill ling on June 29, 2010 at 12:35pm
Well I never seen this dvd but it must have spoke in volumes
Comment by Ms. Kandy Kane on June 29, 2010 at 4:17am
thats some real f*** s***. i tell my n***** all the time to stay off them cameras .
Comment by SUPER C. on June 29, 2010 at 12:44am
and they exposed 2 corrupt cops??!! hahahaha! funny shitttt!
Comment by young money on June 28, 2010 at 11:44pm
dumm a** n***** snitch on they own self...
Comment by Simplify on June 28, 2010 at 11:00pm
20 Years In Federal Prison??? Damn!! You think he should've snitched to get a lower sentence??? lmao
Comment by Rico-T on June 28, 2010 at 10:39pm
of course its NO SNITCHIN..but you boys be goin too far w the dumb s*** tho
Comment by Dakamu on June 28, 2010 at 9:16pm
Gun & Drugs on camera... what part of the game is that. Ya'll Snitched on yourselves!
Comment by Brown Suga on June 28, 2010 at 9:05pm

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