“Stop Snitching” Cameraman Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison on Drug and Gun Charges

Baltimore Stop Snitching Video “Helped to Produce
Unprecedented Law Enforcement Coordination”

May 22, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Akiba Matthews, age 35, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 30 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and possession of a gun by a convicted felon, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

“The Baltimore ‘Stop Snitching’ DVD helped to produce an unprecedented era of law enforcement coordination that has brought a record-breaking reduction in murders,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “This case demonstrates that the ‘Stop Snitching’ campaign has failed in Baltimore because most citizens do not want drug dealers and violent criminals in their neighborhoods.”

“Despite the grim message that the Stop Snitching DVD hoped to deliver, it instead became a great tool for our office to convince state legislators to strengthen penalties against witness threats and intimidation,” said State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy.

According to trial testimony, on November 15, 2007, an anonymous tip from a citizen reported that a man in a white van was selling drugs in the vicinity of South Collins and Frederick Avenues. Baltimore City police officers responded to that location and observed a man, later identified as Matthews, involved in a drug transaction. A search of Matthews’ vehicle upon his arrest recovered 58 gel caps of heroin and a loaded .40 S&W caliber handgun. According to trial testimony, Matthews was the cameraman and appeared in portions of the first “Stop Snitching” video.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and Assistant State’s Attorney Shawn Horton, the Baltimore City Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Stephanie Gallagher and Jason Weinstein, who prosecuted the case.


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