Cherry Hill Gang Member Sentenced to 24 Years in Federal Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy
Admitted Murdering a Rival Gang Member
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III today sentenced Michael Smith, a/k/a Lil Mikey, age 23, of Baltimore, to 24 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise in connection with his gang activities as a member of the “Up the Hill,” “Up da Hill” and “UDH” (UDH) organization, which operates in the Cherry Hill section of Baltimore.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Daniel L. Board, Jr. of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
According to his plea agreements, from at least 1997 to 2013, the UDH organization operated in the Cherry Hill area of Baltimore. UDH members have been in a violent dispute with both the “Coppin Court” and “Little Spelman” organizations, which are involved in criminal activity in the part of Cherry Hill known as “Down the Hill,” or “Down da Hill.” In addition to selling drugs, UDH members have also committed murders, assaults and robberies.
Some of these acts of violence include the August 28, 2011 murder of Little Spelman member Dewayne Jones; the January 20, 2012 murder of Little Spelman leader Dominic Hope; and the August 19, 2009 murder of Charles Pratt.
Smith admitted that he shot and killed rival gang member Charles Pratt on August 9, 2009 in the 600 block of Cherry Hill Road. Smith also admitted that on August 17, 2009, in the 1700 block of E. Lafayette Avenue he possessed a gun that he used in a shootout with another individual earlier that day. An individual was hit in the crossfire and suffered a minor injury. The firearm possessed by Smith was the same gun that was used in a shooting on June 13, 2009; was used to shoot and kill Charles Pratt; and was discharged on August 12, 2009.
Smith also knew that UDH members sold narcotics throughout the neighborhood. During his involvement in the conspiracy, it was foreseeable to Smith that UDH was responsible for the distribution of at least one kilogram of heroin, five kilograms of cocaine, 280 grams of crack cocaine, and marijuana.
A total of 35 Cherry Hill gang members have pleaded guilty to their roles in the racketeering and/or narcotics distribution conspiracies, as well as to other violent crimes.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the ATF, Baltimore Police Department, and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Andrea L. Smith, Seema Mittal, and Patricia C. McLane, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.