FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
FEBRUARY 13, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THREE NORTH AVENUE BOYS PLEAD GUILTY TO WITNESS RETALIATION
BALTIMORE, Maryland - United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein announces that today Shawn Henry, age 29, Dante Faulkner, age 26 and Tyrell Fields, age 35, all of Baltimore pleaded guilty to retaliation against a federal witness.
Their federal jury trial was scheduled to begin today before U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz. The defendants pleaded guilty prior to jury selection and Judge Motz sentenced Faulkner and Fields to five years in prison consecutive to the sentences they were already serving of 40 and 25 years, respectively.
In a statement of facts provided to the court as part of their plea agreements, the defendants admitted that on February 7, 2005, they were scheduled to begin trial in a case in which all of the defendants had been charged with federal drug trafficking crimes, crimes of violence and firearm offenses punishable by up to life imprisonment without parole, as part of a drug trafficking group known as the North Avenue Boys. Prior to the trial date the government had provided to the defense materials pertaining to a government cooperating witness, including transcripts of the witness’s testimony in two official proceedings in which the witness had implicated the defendants in drug trafficking and acts of violence. In addition, in the course of jury selection on February 7, 2005, the witness’s name was announced in open court and it was also listed on the government’s proposed witness list.
After a jury was selected, the defendants pled guilty to various crimes arising from their participation in the drug conspiracy and a series of related shootings and murders, and were transported by the U.S. Marshal to the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center (MRDCC). The defendants were placed in a group holding cell pending their return to the respective state or federal institution from which they had been transported for trial. Once inside the cell, Henry, Faulkner and Fields encountered the witness, who had been transported that day to testify as a government witness. The defendants confronted the witness with the fact that he had been named in their court papers and that he was there to testify against them. The witness denied this, at which point he was assaulted by the defendants, who knocked him to the floor and punched and kicked him in the face, head and body until they were stopped by DOC personnel. The defendants were separated from the witness and removed from the cell.
Shawn Henry faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. Judge Motz has scheduled sentencing for April 7, 2006.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Baltimore City Police Department. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jack Purcell and Jonathan Mastrangelo, who prosecuted the case.
This page last modifiedFebruary 17, 2006