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Friday, February 15, 2019

Leader of Violent West Baltimore Gang Sentenced to Life in Prison for Federal Racketeering and Drug Conspiracy Charges, Including Murders and Witness Intimidation

Defendant Personally Participated in Six Murders

A Baltimore, Maryland man was sentenced today to life in prison for conspiring to participate in a violent racketeering enterprise known as Trained To Go (TTG).  The racketeering conspiracy included eight murders, drug trafficking, and witness intimidation. 

The sentencing was announced by Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur for the District of Maryland; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the FBI Baltimore Field Office; Acting Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division;  Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Baltimore District Office; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.

Montana Barronette, aka Tana, and Tanner, 23, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake for the District of Maryland to serve life in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.  The racketeering conspiracy included eight murders – six committed by Barronette – as well as drug trafficking and witness intimidation.  Barronette and his co-defendants were also convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, marijuana, and cocaine.  A federal jury convicted Barronette and seven co-defendants on Oct. 31, 2018. 

“From 2010 to 2017, Montana Barronette was known as the number one trigger puller in Baltimore and the leader of the vicious Trained To Go gang that terrorized the streets of West Baltimore, committing murders – including six by Barronette himself – shootings, armed robberies, drug dealing, and witness intimidation,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski.  “Today’s sentence brings Barronette’s murderous career to an end – and brings some measure of justice to his many victims.  I commend our prosecutors, as well as our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, for their tireless pursuit of justice against this violent gang.”

“Montana Barronette was the leader of one of the most violent gangs operating in Baltimore City and personally participated in at least six murders,” said U.S. Attorney Hur. “As a result of today’s sentence justice has been served for his victims and their families.  Federal, state and local law enforcement will continue to work together to remove armed, violent criminals from our neighborhoods and bring them to justice in the federal system, which has no parole—ever.”

“This case represents the epitome of law enforcement agencies working together to target and dismantle violent street gangs that threaten the safety and stability of our neighborhoods,” said FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Johnson.  “The citizens of Baltimore City and Maryland have the FBI’s commitment that we will work with our local, state and federal partners to attack these dealers and remove violent criminals from their neighborhoods.”

According to the evidence presented at their 24-day trial, Barronette and his co-defendants are all members of TTG, a criminal organization which operated in the Sandtown neighborhood of West Baltimore, whose members engaged in drug distribution and acts of violence including murder, armed robbery, and witness intimidation.  As part of the conspiracy, each defendant agreed that a conspirator would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity for TTG. 

The evidence at trial showed that Barronette and co-defendant Terrell Sivells served as the leadership for TTG.  Members and associates of TTG sold heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, and worked to defend their exclusive right to control who sold narcotics in TTG territory.  In addition to coordinating the distribution of heroin, Barronette also coordinated with a criminal group known as the “Young Go Getters,” and others to engage in murder-for-hire schemes on behalf of TTG.

Specifically, the evidence proved that between May 20, 2010 and Jan. 9, 2017, Barronette, his co-defendants, and other members of TTG committed acts of violence, including nine murders, shootings, armed robbery, and witness intimidation.  The violent acts were intended to further the gang’s activities, protect the gang’s drug territory, and maintain and increase a member’s position within the organization.  Murders were committed in retaliation for individuals robbing TTG members of drugs and drug proceeds, or while TTG members robbed others of their drugs and drug proceeds, as well as in murder-for-hire schemes.  Further, the defendants engaged in witness intimidation through violence or threats of violence, to prevent individuals from cooperating with law enforcement.

The following defendants, all of Baltimore, were also convicted after trial and face a maximum sentence of life in prison on the racketeering and drug conspiracies:

Terrell Sivells, aka Rell, 27;

John Harrison, aka Binkie, 28;

Taurus Tillman, aka Tash, 29;

Linton Broughton, aka Marty, 25;

Dennis Pulley, aka Denmo, 31;

Brandon Wilson, aka Ali, 24; and

Timothy Floyd, aka Tim Rod, age 28.

Pulley and Wilson each also face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for being felons in possession of a firearm; and a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence imposed, and up to life in prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Tillman and Sivells also face up to 20 years in prison for distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin.  The defendants remain detained.

Three other TTG members, all of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty.  Brandon Bazemore, aka Man Man, 25, pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy, including three murders and an attempted murder, as well as to the drug conspiracy and was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.  Co-defendants Hisaun Chatman, 31, and James Woodfolk, 20, pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy and were each sentenced to five years in prison, to be served concurrent to the state sentence each is currently serving. 

Co-defendant Roger Taylor, of Baltimore, is still a fugitive.  Anyone who may have information on the whereabouts of Roger Taylor is asked to contact the FBI Baltimore Field office at (410) 265-8080.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI Baltimore Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force, which includes FBI special agents and task force officers from the Baltimore, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County Police Departments.  FBI Baltimore Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force is responsible for identifying and targeting the most violent gangs in the Baltimore metropolitan area, to address gang violence and the associated homicides in Baltimore.  The vision of the program is to use federal racketeering statutes to disrupt and dismantle significant violent criminal threats and criminal enterprises affecting the safety and well-being of our citizens and our communities. 

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.               

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation was conducted by the FBI, Baltimore Police Department, ATF, DEA, Anne Arundel County Police Department and the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City.  The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Hanley formerly of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel C. Gardner and Christopher J. Romano of the District of Maryland.

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated February 15, 2019