Sean Sterling Convicted of Using a Firearm In Two Drug Related Murders
Case Against Hit Men Demonstrates Reason for Many Murders in Baltimore
and Impact of Coordinated and Proactive Law Enforcement Effort
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal jury today convicted Sean Victor Sterling, age 31, of Parkville, Maryland, of two counts of use of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime resulting in death, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
“Crimes get solved when we treat every prosecution as a part of a bigger picture instead of a stand-alone case,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “This case reveals a lot about why there are so many murders in Baltimore, but it also proves that we can track down the killers and hold them accountable through coordinated intelligence-gathering and proactive investigations.”
According to the testimony at his three week trial, from at least 1996 through December 2001, Jermaine Bell was the leader of a narcotics trafficking organization known as “R-N-G” which distributed heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana at multiple street-level shops in the vicinity of Reisterstown Road and Gwynn Falls Parkway in Baltimore City. The heroin was sold under a number of brand names, including “Black and White” and “Red and White.” During a dispute over drug territory, Bell issued contracts for the murder of the leader of a rival drug organization and his associates, including a $10,000 contract for Kenyatta Harris and a $25,000 contract for the murder of Angelo Stringfellow.
According to witness testimony, in response to those contracts, on May 28, 2001, Sterling drove several co-conspirators to locate Kenyatta Harris. They found him at a residence, followed him to Mondawmin Mall, where they waited for him to shop. Sterling and the other conspirators then followed Harris to the 1600 block of Thomas Avenue, where two co-conspirators got out of the car, shot and killed Kenyatta Harris, using guns hidden in the sun roof of Sterling’s car. Witnesses testified that on June 26, 2001, Sterling again drove several co-conspirators to look for Angelo Stringfellow so they could kill him. Using guns hidden in the sun roof of Sterling’s car, Stringfellow was shot by two members of the group after they found him sitting in a car near “Club Bunns” in the 600 block of West Lexington Street. Sterling drove the co-conspirators away from the scene. Stringfellow died several hours later from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. A woman standing outside the car was also shot and wounded.
Sterling faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett scheduled sentencing for February 19, 2009 at 3:30 p.m.
Jermaine Bell, age 33, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to the same charge in relation to the murder of Angelo Stringfellow on June 26, 2001. Bell faces a maximum sentence of life in prison at his sentencing on December 23, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. The remaining five co-defendants have all pleaded guilty to their roles in murders related to the R-N-G drug organization.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office - Homicide Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Baltimore Police Department for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Weinstein, Tonya Kelly Kowitz and Gregory Welsh, who are prosecuting the case.