Federal Indictment Charges 21 Defendants for Violent Drug Distribution Conspiracy Operating in the Cherry Hill Area of Baltimore
Indictment Alleges Violence Including 13 Murders, and 21 Non-Fatal Shootings; “Hillside” Enterprise is Fourth Rival Gang Prosecuted in Cherry Hill
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging 21 defendants for being part of the Hillside Enterprise, a drug distribution conspiracy which operated for 14 years in the Cherry Hill section of Baltimore. The indictment alleges that member of the Hillside Enterprise committed acts of violence in order to fund their narcotics activities and intimidate others who would interfere with the enterprise. The indictment was returned on September 8, 2016 and unsealed today. Thirteen defendants are in custody. Law enforcement is still searching for eight of the defendants.
The indictment 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 J. Mosby.
“The most important thing law enforcement officers can do to stop violence is to make clear that killers will be held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Although the only crime charged in this indictment is a drug conspiracy, the allegations include 13 murders and 21 non-fatal shootings. Conspiracy cases are a valuable tool to put violent gangs out of business.”
According to the indictment, beginning in at least early 2002, the Hillside Enterprise distributed powder and crack cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and marijuana, primarily in the Cherry Hill Shopping Center, in other locations throughout Cherry Hill, and in west and southwest Baltimore City. The indictment alleges that members of the Hillside Enterprise used the proceeds of their narcotics sales to purchase firearms, to enrich themselves, and to further the activities of the organization, including narcotics trafficking. Hillside members allegedly used residences in and around Cherry Hill to cut and package drugs for distribution, primarily heroin, powder cocaine, and crack. Only trusted members of the Hillside Enterprise were admitted to these locations while the drugs were being prepared for sale. In an effort to distinguish their narcotics, members used colored topped vials or colored the drugs with food coloring.
The indictment alleges that members of the Hillside Enterprise routinely carried firearms, and committed home invasion and street robberies, and other acts of violence in furtherance of the organization’s activities, including shootings, beatings, murders, and other violence in order to intimidate others who would interfere with their narcotics trafficking. Acts of violence were also committed to discipline members within the Hillside Enterprise for transgressions, real or perceived, against the conspiracy. According to the indictment, members of the Hillside Enterprise used gang signs to communicate and some had tattoos reflecting their allegiance to the conspiracy.
The indictment charges the following defendants:
*Travis Alewine, a/k/a Sticks, age 24;
*Jerryan Burrell, a/k/a Rhino, age 31;
*Leonard Chase, a/k/a Nard, age 22;
*Deaven Cherry, a/k/a Gotti, age 29;
Delonte Conley, a/k/a Tay, Ziggy, age 24;
*Christopher Dukes, a/k/a Scarface, age 24;
Michael Evans, a/k/a Pee Wee, age 22;
*Marshon Floyd, a/k/a Killer, age 25;
*Kevin Horsey, a/k/a What What, age 24;
Marcus Johnson, a/k/a Black, age 25;
*Keenan Lawson, a/k/a Blackface, age 24;
Stevie Lawson, a/k/a GB, age 26;
*Terrell Luster, a/k/a Relly, age 28;
Cintront Lynn, a/k/a Stitch, Lil Cuz, age 20;
Van McNutt, a/k/a Butt Butt, age 38;
*Caesar Rice, a/k/a Stinky, age 24;
Devin Rodgers, a/k/a Donkey, Dick Butkus, age 21;
Daniel Seawell, a/k/a June Bug, age 20;
Michael Truehart, a/k/a Papers, age 20;
Robert White, a/k/a Beanhead, age 29; and
*Lemar Williams, a/k/a Mar; Tutta, age 25.
Eleven defendants (denoted by *) also face enhanced sentences for murder. The indictment specifically alleges that: Burrell was involved in the murder of three persons; Floyd was involved in the murder of three persons; Williams was involved in the murder of three persons, Dukes, Horsey, Cherry, and Keenan Lawson were each involved in the murder of two persons; and Chase, Luster, Rice and Alewine were each involved in a single murder. Incidents of attempted murders and aggravated assaults are also alleged against these defendants and others named in the indictment. Rodgers, Seawell, Stevie Lawson, and Lynn are alleged to have been involved in drug distribution but face no allegations of violent activities.
All 21 defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. The defendants arrested today are expected to have initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. The defendants already in custody will be scheduled for an initial appearance at a later date.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
Since 2013, federal prosecutors have convicted at least 35 members of three other rival drug-dealing organizations that operated in Cherry Hill: “Up da Hill,” “Little Spelman” and “Coppin Court.”
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 and thanked the FBI, Baltimore County Police Department, Anne Arundel County Police Department, and Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Andrea L. Smith, Seema Mittal, and Patricia C. McLane, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.