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Press Release

Member of Southwest Baltimore “NFL” Gang Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Participating in a Racketeering Conspiracy, Including Murder and a Drug Distribution Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Julie R. Rubin today sentenced James Henry Roberts, a/k/a “Bub,” age 33, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 30 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise related to his activities in the Normandy, Franklin, and Loudon (“NFL”) gang, which operated in the Edmondson Village area 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, Baltimore District Office; Secretary Carolyn J. Scruggs of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Acting Commissioner Richard Worley of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to Robert’s guilty plea, from 2016 to March 2020, Roberts was a member of the NFL gang, which was an enterprise, and participated in its illegal activities with other members, including the NFL drug trafficking organization (“DTO”).  Members of the NFL gang have social and familial ties to the Edmondson Village neighborhood of Southwest Baltimore. 

During the conspiracy, NFL gang members distributed large quantities of heroin and cocaine to drug customers and re-distributors from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Roberts admitted that he obtained narcotics from multiple sources of supply and stored the narcotics in stash houses that the NFL gang controlled.  Over the course of the charged conspiracy, Roberts and his co-conspirators distributed over one kilogram of heroin and more than 280 grams of cocaine base. 

As detailed in his plea agreement and court documents, Roberts paid members and associates of the NFL gang to commit multiple murders on behalf of the enterprise.  For example, in 2018, Roberts and others offered a bounty in exchange for the murder of Victim 1, who Roberts believed was cooperating with law enforcement.  On June 16, 2018, an NFL gang member (Co-conspirator 1) murdered Victim 1 as well as a bystander (Victim 2).  Shortly after the murders, Roberts paid Co-conspirator 1 with money from another NFL related enterprise.

Additionally, in October 2018, Roberts learned of a bounty for the murder of Victim 3.  To try to collect the bounty, Roberts recruited two NFL gang members to murder Victim 3 and share the proceeds.  Ultimately, the two NFL gang members shot and killed Victim 3 on October 31, 2018, then notified Roberts of Victim 3’s murder.

More than 30 defendants in this and related cases have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to between 30 years and time served. 

This case is 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.

This case is also 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.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, DEA, DPSCS, the Montgomery County Police Department, and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.   Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys John W. Sippel, Jr., James T. Wallner, and Robert I. Goldaris who prosecuted the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit and

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Marcia Lubin
(410) 209-4854

Updated June 20, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Drug Trafficking