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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 16, 2019

Fourth Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty To Participating In A Conspiracy To Rob A Marijuana Dealer

Admitted Shooting the Dealer When the Dealer Attempted to Retrieve the Stolen Items

Baltimore, Maryland – James Dorsey, a/k/a Boosey, Boosey Boo, and Bad Ass, age 24, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to a commercial robbery, which resulted in the death of 18-year-old Markel Benson. 

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to his plea agreement, on October 12, 2015, Dorsey, Ameer Baker, Keyon Hawkins, and a juvenile planned a robbery of Benson, who sold marijuana outside a restaurant located in the 2300 block of W. North Avenue in Baltimore.  Before the robbery, Dorsey, Baker, Hawkins, and the juvenile drove around the block where the restaurant was located to make sure that Benson was there.  Baker was driving Hawkins’ car.  After seeing Benson, Baker drove the men to Pulaski and Smallwood Roads, where they met Deonta Douglas.  Baker gave Hawkins a gun.  Hawkins, Douglas and the juvenile returned to the restaurant on foot, while Baker and Dorsey drove Hawkins’ car.

At approximately 6:40 p.m., Hawkins, Douglas, and the juvenile approached the restaurant and asked a friend of Benson’s if anyone had any “weed.” Benson’s friend indicated that Benson, who was inside the restaurant, had weed.   Hawkins went inside and robbed Benson of his drugs, cash, and phones.  Hawkins and the other men ran away.  Benson was angry and wanted to find the men who robbed him and get his property back.  Benson and his friend went to a nearby associate’s house to get a gun, then walked to the area where Benson believed they would find the robbers.  Benson and his friend were captured on a CCTV street camera walking together and Benson appeared to be carrying a gun.  The time noted on the CCTV camera was 6:55 p.m.

In the meantime, Douglas, Hawkins, Baker, Dorsey, and the juvenile were back on Ridgehill Avenue.  Hawkins returned Baker’s gun to him and gave him Benson’s stolen phone.  Hawkins started to roll a joint using Benson’s stolen marijuana when Douglas let the others know that Benson and his friend were coming up the street.  Douglas yelled “line ‘em up,” a street phrase meaning to shoot someone.  At that moment, Dorsey and Baker ran up an alley and Dorsey fired three shots. One shot hit Benson, killing him.  Baker’s gun jammed.  The CCTV camera captured individuals scattering on foot, running away from the shots.

Immediately after the shooting, Baker, at Dorsey’s direction, contacted a co-conspirator to take them from the scene of the crime.  Baker used Benson’s stolen phone to call Hawkins and a family member. 

Dorsey and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Dorsey will be sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for December 16, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. 

Keyon Hawkins, age 25; Deonta Douglas, a/k/a Cuzzo, age 24; and Ameer Baker, a/k/a Meer, age 25, all of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the robbery.  Hawkins was sentenced to 111 months in federal prison.  Judge Bennett has scheduled sentencing for Baker and Douglas on November 12 and December 4, 2019, respectively, each at 3:00 p.m.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and Lindsey N. McCulley, who are prosecuting the case.

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Updated September 16, 2019