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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 31, 2022

Member of Southwest Baltimore “NFL” Gang Sentenced to 29 Years in Federal Prison for a Racketeering Conspiracy, Including Two Murders and an Attempted Murder

Defendant Also Distributed Large Quantities of Heroin, Fentanyl, and Cocaine in Furtherance of the Criminal Enterprise

Greenbelt, Maryland – On October 28, 2022, U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Bobby Cannon, a/k/a Freaky, age 24 of Baltimore, to 29 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for participating in a violent racketeering conspiracy, specifically, the NFL Criminal Enterprise, including committing two murders.  The term NFL stands for Normandy, Franklin, and Loudon, which are three adjacent streets that run through the Edmondson Village.  Members of NFL have social and familial ties to the Edmondson Village neighborhood in southwest Baltimore. 

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington Division; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to his guilty plea, from at least 2016 through March 26, 2020, Bobby Cannon was a member of the NFL Criminal Enterprise, which engaged in a pattern of criminal racketeering activity including murder, narcotics trafficking and smuggling, illegal firearms possession, bribery, witness intimidation, and witness retaliation.  Cannon admitted that he participated in illegal activities with other NFL Enterprise members, including committing two murders and an attempted murder, and distributing large quantities of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine. 

As detailed in Cannon’s plea agreement, in 2018, co-defendant James Roberts and other NFL members offered money for the murder of an individual who was believed to be a federal witness cooperating with law enforcement regarding NFL.  On June 16, 2018, Cannon walked up to the porch of a house in Edmondson Village, where the individual and his girlfriend were sitting.  Cannon shot them both multiple times, killing them.  Cannon was subsequently paid by Roberts for committing the murders, which Cannon agrees was in furtherance of the NFL Criminal Enterprise.

In late 2018, Cannon was recruited by NFL to murder another individual in exchange for money and in furtherance of the NFL Criminal Enterprise.  Cannon planned the murder for several weeks and learned that the individual resided in a halfway house in East Baltimore.  On January 4, 2019, Cannon borrowed a car from a female associate in southwest Baltimore and later drove the car to the vicinity of the halfway house, where Cannon waited for the individual.  After several hours, Cannon saw the individual on the street and shot the individual multiple times in the arm, back, neck, and buttocks.  The individual sustained life-threatening injuries but survived the shooting.

Following the shooting, Cannon abandoned the car and notified the female associate, who then falsely reported to the Baltimore Police that her car was stolen.  Cannon then notified the NFL Criminal Enterprise that he attempted to murder the individual but failed to kill him.

In April 2019, the FBI arrested members of the NFL Criminal Enterprise, but not Cannon.  On a recorded jail call following the arrests, incarcerated NFL members instructed Cannon to continue distributing narcotics for the NFL.  Cannon took over a drug phone used by the NFL Criminal Enterprise so that he could continue to sell narcotics to drug customers of the organization.

On December 28, 2019, Baltimore Police officers found Cannon unconscious in a parked van. During their interaction, officers saw that Cannon had a gun, which they recovered from his jacket pocket.  Officers then searched Cannon’s van and recovered over 98 grams of fentanyl, which Cannon agrees he possessed with the intent to distribute it.

Cannon admitted in his plea agreement that over the course of the racketeering conspiracy, Cannon and his co-conspirators distributed over one kilogram of heroin, more than 400 grams of fentanyl, and more than 280 grams of crack cocaine.

More than 30 defendants in this and related cases have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to between 15 years and time served.  NFL member James Henry Roberts, a/k/a “Bub,” age 32, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty on October 3, 2022, along with gang leader Gregory Butler, a/k/a “Gotti,” “Sags,” and “Little Dick,” age 31, also of Baltimore, to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise related to their activities in the NFL gang.  They are expected to be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.  On October 7, 2022, the final defendant in the case, D’Andre Preston, age 26, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to his participation in the NFL racketeering conspiracy, including a murder, and is expected to be sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.  Judge Grimm has scheduled sentencing for all three defendants on December 9, 2022.

This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).  NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms.  NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles.  For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, the DEA, the Montgomery County Department of Police and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the City of Rockville Police Department; the Baltimore County and Howard County Police Departments; the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office; the Maryland State Police; the West Virginia State Police; the Virginia State Police; the Warren County (VA) Sheriff’s Department; the Winchester (VA) and Front Royal (VA) Police Departments; and the Frederick County and Howard County State’s Attorney’s Offices for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys John W. Sippel, Jr., James T. Wallner, and Robert I. Goldaris, who are prosecuting the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.   

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Opioids
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
Marcia Lubin (410) 209-4854
Updated October 31, 2022