Contact MARCIA MURPHY
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4854
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Devin Braxton, age 28, of Baltimore, to five years in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for assaulting a federal officer.
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 Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle of the Baltimore Police Department.
“Law enforcement officers—including members of ATF and the Baltimore Police Department—routinely put their lives on the line for the sake of public safety,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Those who assault these brave men and woman will be held accountable.”
“ATF Special Agents and Task Force Officers risk their safety and lives every day investigating violent offenders, including those who push drugs onto Baltimore’s streets. We do this to protect the community, and remove criminals and violence from their neighborhoods,” said ATF Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada. “Devin Braxton and Earl Williams showed no regard for human life when they violently beat our Task Force Officer, a member of our ATF family. We are immensely grateful that this TFO has made a full recovery and that these men are being held responsible for their crime.”
According to Braxton’s plea agreement, on January 18, 2017, an ATF Task Force Officer (TFO) was working undercover in an investigation of a drug dealer in Baltimore.
While wearing an audio recording device, the TFO met the target drug dealer in front of a carryout store in the 1800 block of North Gay Street in Baltimore, where the drug dealer gave the TFO packaged crack cocaine in exchange for cash. While the TFO was engaged in the transaction, Braxton’s co-defendant, Earl Williams, approached the TFO and poked his finger into the TFO’s hand that was holding the crack cocaine. The TFO attempted to excuse Williams, who persisted in his confrontation and began threatening the TFO. Braxton and Williams then blocked the exit to the business. The TFO attempted to push Williams into the corner of the store, but, as the TFO struggled with Williams, Braxton began striking the TFO. Williams then wrestled the TFO to the ground, where Braxton and Williams punched and kicked the TFO, causing serious injuries. Hearing the commotion over the TFO’s audio recording device, ATF agents rapidly responded to the scene. Before agents could arrive, Braxton and Williams left the store. As they fled, Williams took the TFO’s cell phone and Braxton took the TFO’s service weapon.
ATF agents apprehended Braxton and Williams a short time later. They also recovered the TFO’s phone and service weapon. The TFO was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Earl Williams, age 30, of Baltimore, also pleaded guilty to assaulting a federal officer. If the Court accepts the plea, Williams will be sentenced to 66 months in prison, at his sentencing before Judge Bennett on September 12, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney John W. Sippel, who is prosecuting the case.