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Press Release

Member of Cherry Hill Group Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Admitted to Participating in the Murders of Two Rival Gang Members

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Elijah Sykes-Bey, a/k/a LaLa, age 22, of Baltimore, today to 24 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise in connection with his gang activities as a member of the 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 agreement, from at least 2007 to 2013, the UDH organization operated in the area of Cherry Hill known as “Up the Hill” or “Up da Hill.”  UDH members and associates have been in a long-running dispute with members of an organization known as “Coppin Court” that is involved in criminal activity in the part of Cherry Hill known as “Down the Hill,” or “Down da Hill,” (DDH), and since at least January 2011, have been in a dispute with members of “Little Spelman,” another organization that is involved in criminal activity in the DDH section of Cherry Hill. UDH members and associates used violence and intimidation to protect themselves, the organization, and their control of the drug trade in part of Cherry Hill.

In addition to selling drugs, UDH members have also committed murders, attempted murders, assaults, carjackings, and robberies. Beginning in 2004, UDH members committed six murders of rival gang members and/or drug dealers, and shot nine other individuals. In addition, the members of UDH committed street and bank robberies in order to fund their narcotics activities.

Sykes-Bey admitted that as a member of UDH he was part of a racketeering enterprise and protected the gang’s power, territory and profits through the use of violence, threats of violence, intimidation, robbery, and narcotics trafficking. Sykes-Bey also admitted that he participated in the murders of two rival gang members.

Sykes-Bey also knew that UDH members sold narcotics throughout the neighborhood.  During his involvement in the conspiracy, it was foreseeable to Sykes-Bey 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 and 27 of those defendants, including Elijah Sykes-Bey, have been sentenced.

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.

Updated August 9, 2016

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime