Howard County Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison for His Role in a Murder-For-Hire Conspiracy
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Erick Rahumid Hobbs, a/k/a Eric Muhammad, age 39, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 198 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition. Hobbs was previously convicted of a felony and was therefore prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. A federal jury convicted Hobbs on March 6, 2019, after a three-day trial.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department.
“Erick Hobbs knew that he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. Far too many people are making the bad choice to carry and use guns,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Hopefully criminals who are not deterred from carrying guns by the threat of prison can be deterred by the reality of years spent in a federal prison far from home, where there is no parole—ever.”
According to the evidence presented at his trial, between October 2017 and January 2018, Hobbs was dating a woman and gave the woman’s daughter a television as a gift. After the woman broke off their relationship, Hobbs demanded that the woman return the television, even though Hobbs had given it as a gift to her daughter.
The evidence proved that on February 3, 2018, Hobbs broke a rear kitchen window to gain access to the woman’s home. When the woman and her daughter came downstairs to investigate the noise, Hobbs ordered them at gunpoint to open the front door, and he threatened to kill the woman, her daughter, her family, and the police. The woman unlocked the front door. Hobbs, still armed with the gun, forced his way into the residence, then left with the television. The woman called the police to report the incident.
On February 4, 2018, law enforcement located Hobbs in his vehicle and attempted to stop it. Hobbs fled and rear-ended a van nearby. Hobbs got out of his vehicle and was arrested. Officers recovered a loaded 9 mm pistol from the ground by the driver’s side door of Hobbs’ vehicle, where Hobbs was standing at the time of his arrest.
Later that day, Hobbs was captured on recorded jail calls talking to his son and roommate. During one of those calls, Hobbs provided his son with the victim’s address and directed his son to give the address to Hobbs’ roommate who is “gonna take care of it from there.” Hobbs’ son promptly went to Hobbs’ residence and provided his phone to Hobbs’ roommate so he could talk to Hobbs. On a recorded jail call, Hobbs spelled out the victim’s first and last name for his roommate and directed his roommate to get the victim’s address from his son. On the same recorded jail call, Hobbs told his roommate that he needed someone to talk with the victim and suggested Facebook as means to contact her. The roommate agreed and subsequently sent the victim communications via Facebook. The victim notified the Baltimore County Police Department of the Facebook communications and was relocated due to concerns for her safety.
On February 5, 2018, law enforcement obtained a warrant to search Hobbs’ residence and seized 65 rounds of 9 mm ammunition—the same type of ammunition inside of the firearm—from Hobbs’ bedroom dresser, and a paper with the victim’s address written on it from the roommate’s bedroom.
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. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samika N. Boyd and Christine Goo, who prosecuted the case.
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