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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 30, 2016

Member of Cherry Hill Group ‘Little Spelman’ Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Drug Distribution Conspiracy

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Shaquan Robinson, a/k/a Quanny, age 26, of Baltimore, today to 12 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and crack cocaine, related to his drug dealing and violence 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 agreement, Robinson was a member of a group known as “Little Spelman.” From at least 2003 to 2013, Little Spelman operated in the “down the hill” area of Cherry Hill. This group committed acts of robbery, homicides, non-fatal shootings and drug distribution, to include crack cocaine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

Beginning in at least 2010, Robinson was a drug distributor in Cherry Hill, distributing crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and other drugs with members of Little Spelman.  In May 2013, Robinson was seen by law enforcement on CCTV engaging in hand to hand drug transactions on a school playground.  When police approached the playground, Robinson attempted to conceal the drugs, but police recovered two ziplocks of marijuana from a bag Robinson had thrown on the ground, and recovered 24 ziplocks of cocaine and $51 from Robinson.  Robinson admitted that he also possessed a firearm in furtherance of the drug conspiracy.  On July 8, 2012, officers approached a group of men with whom Robinson was standing.  Robinson ran away holding a loaded handgun in the waistband of his pants then tossed the gun into the front yard of a home, where it was recovered by police.

In addition to drug activity, since at least 2011, members of Little Spelman have been in a dispute with members of an organization involved in the distribution of narcotics and violence that operates primarily in the part of Cherry Hill known as “Up the Hill” or “Up da Hill.”  Members and associates of Little Spelman protected themselves, the organization, and their control of the drug trade in part of the Down the Hill section of Cherry Hill, and engaged in their dispute with UDH, through violence and intimidation. 

For example, Little Spelman member Davon Martin admitted that on January 20, 2011, he shot and killed UDH member Rhidell Price. Martin killed Price in retaliation for Martin and another Little Spelman member, Dewayne Jones, being shot at by Up Da Hill members a few days earlier.  Dewayne Jones was subsequently shot and killed on August 28, 2011.

Two days after Martin killed Price, on January 22, 2011, Little Spelman associate Harry Hicks was shot and killed by Up Da Hill members in retaliation for Price’s murder.  On April 9, 2011, Martin shot and killed Up Da Hill member Dwight Taylor at a barbershop on W. Saratoga Street in Baltimore, in retaliation for Hicks’ murder.  Robinson was in the barbershop during the murder.  A ballistics comparison of the .45 caliber firearm that Martin used to kill Taylor revealed that it was the same gun used on January 28, 2011 by Dominic Hope, the former leader of Little Spelman, to shoot Up Da Hill member Antione White, who was leaving the funeral of Rhidell Price. Dominic Hope was subsequently shot and killed on January 20, 2012. 

Davon Martin, age 27, of Baltimore, was previously sentenced to 35 years in prison.

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.

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crimes
Updated June 30, 2016