Two Members of Violent West Baltimore Gang Sentenced to up to Life in Prison for Federal Racketeering and Drug Conspiracies
Federal Jury Found One Defendant Participated in Five Murders and a Gun Recovered From Other Defendant Was Used in Four of those Murders
Two Baltimore, Maryland men were sentenced today to life and 30 years, respectively, in prison for conspiring to participate in a drug distribution conspiracy and a violent racketeering enterprise known as Trained To Go (TTG). The racketeering conspiracy included eight murders, as well as drug trafficking and witness intimidation.
John Harrison, aka Binkie, 28, and Linton Broughton, aka Marty, 25; both of Baltimore, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake to serve life in prison, and 360 months in prison, respectively, each followed by five years of supervised release. Broughton, Harrison and their co-defendants were also convicted of a drug distribution conspiracy involving heroin, marijuana, and cocaine. Harrison participated in the murder of five individuals and a firearm recovered from Broughton was found to be used in four of those murders.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur for the District of Maryland; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the FBI Baltimore Field Office; 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 made the announcement.
“For years, John Harrison, Linton Broughton, and other members of the vicious Trained To Go gang brought death and violence to the streets of Baltimore,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski. “We thank our hard-working prosecutors, as well as our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, for their dedication in dismantling this vile gang.”
“Violent gang members must know that gun crime leads to federal time,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “As this case demonstrates, all too often, guns and drugs go hand in hand—and both are killers. Thanks to the partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement, these drug dealers will no longer peddle death in West Baltimore. Harrison, Broughton and their TTG co-defendants will be removed from the community they terrorized and serve their sentences in federal prison, where there is no parole - ever.”
According to the evidence presented at their 24-day trial, Broughton, Harrison and their co-defendants are all members of TTG, a criminal organization that 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 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. The evidence showed the Broughton was one of TTG’s primary distributors of heroin and marijuana. Broughton distributed the drugs from multiple locations in Sandtown. In addition, the evidence proved that between May 20, 2010 and Jan. 9, 2017, Broughton, Harrison, their co-defendants, and other members of TTG committed acts of violence, including eight murders, shootings, armed robbery, and witness intimidation. 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. Harrison was found to have participated in the murder of three people on July 7, 2015, as well as two other murders. A gun that Broughton had hidden was recovered on Jan. 28, 2016, was determined to have been used in the murders on July 7, 2015, as well as another murder committed by Harrison. Further, the defendants engaged in witness intimidation through violence or threats of violence, to prevent individuals from cooperating with law enforcement.
The leader of the gang, Montana Barronette, aka Tana and Tanner, 23, of Baltimore, was sentenced to serve life in prison on Feb. 15. Co-defendant Brandon Wilson, aka Ali, 24, also of Baltimore, was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison on March 1, 2019.
The remaining defendants convicted at the trial are all from Baltimore, and face a maximum sentence of life in prison on the racketeering and drug conspiracies. They include: Terrell Sivells, aka Rell, 27; Taurus Tillman, aka Tash, 29; Dennis Pulley, aka Denmo, 31; and Timothy Floyd, aka Tim Rod, 28.
The defendants remain detained.
Three other TTG members previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced to between five and 25 years in prison. Another defendant, Roger Taylor, aka Milk, is a fugitive.
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. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its 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.
Harrison is still facing charges for allegedly assaulting employees of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) while he was detained and being transported to and from the courtroom during their trial. According to the indictment, on Sept. 21, 2018, Harrison and a co-defendant assaulted two Deputy U.S. Marshals and a U.S. District Court Security Officer as they were being escorted from the courtroom during a break in the trial. The charges in an indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating the case.
The 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. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Hanley, formerly of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Romano and Daniel C. Gardner of the District of Maryland prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.