FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
July 18, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HARWOOD FIREBOMBING DEFENDANT SENTENCED
TO OVER 12 YEARS IN PRISON
Targeted Baltimore Woman Who
Tried to Stop Them from Selling Drugs in Her Neighborhood
BALTIMORE, Maryland - Issac Smith, age 27, of Baltimore was sentenced today to 150 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit witness tampering and use of fire and explosives to commit a felony, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “Anyone involved in a scheme to attempt to intimidate a witness will be prosecuted and face time in a federal prison far from Baltimore. Issac Smith participated in planning the retaliation, and making and throwing firebombs. Today’s sentence sends a strong message that witness intimidation will not be tolerated.”
ATF Special Agent in Charge Gregory K. Gant said, "Those citizens who are brave enough to come forward and work with law enforcement to get their neighborhoods back deserve our protection. ATF is committed to work with our partners to bring those who prey upon law abiding citizens to justice, and exile them to federal prison."
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy stated, “Today’s sentence sends a very clear and necessary message that when courageous witnesses and victims stand up for justice in our community, their testimony is heard and justice is served. The victims, witnesses and community in these cases were not silenced and chose to make the right choice and testify in the interest of public safety for their fellow citizens. Intimidators should not underestimate the formidable resources and broad commitment shared by local, state and federal law enforcement and prosecutors. We are very appreciative of the hard work and dedication of our federal partners in assuring that justice is served in Baltimore City.”
According to the statement of facts provided to the court at his guilty plea, on January 15, 2005, Issac Smith met with Nakie Harris, age 30, Jackie Brewington, age 19, Sedrick Bowman, age 26, Andre Wilkins, age 32, Richard Royal, age 21 and Terrence Smith, age 24, all of Baltimore, to discuss firebombing a home in the Harwood community of Baltimore in retaliation for the homeowner reporting drug activity to the police and in an effort to prevent the owner from continuing to report drug activity. Smith and others made molotov cocktails by emptying beer bottles, filling them with gasoline and inserting rags soaked with gasoline to serve as “wicks.” The defendants gathered at the home on January 15, 2005, where Harris and Isaac Smith threw molotov cocktails at the front of the house while Bowman, Brewington and Royal each threw a molotov cocktail at the rear of the residence. Meanwhile, Wilkins directed Shakia Watkins, age 19, of Baltimore to call the Baltimore City “911” operator to report a fictitious crime in order to divert police attention away from the area of the firebombing. Wilkins, serving as the getaway driver, parked his car in an alley near the site and drove the defendants from the scene.
Terrence Smith, Harris and Royal were convicted after trial. Smith was sentenced to 80 years in prison. Harris and Royal were both sentenced to 60 years in prison. Prior to trial, Brewington, Wilkins and Bowman pled guilty to witness tampering and use of fire and explosives to commit a felony and each faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Bowman is scheduled to be sentenced on August 31, 2006. Shakia Watkins pled guilty to conspiracy to commit witness tampering and was sentenced to four years in prison. No date has been set for the sentencing of Brewington and Wilkins.
United States Attorney Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Baltimore City Fire Department; Baltimore City Police Department; and the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys A. David Copperthite and Kwame J. Manley, who prosecuted the case.
This page last modifiedJuly 18, 2006