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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Member of Violent West Baltimore Gang Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison, for Federal Racketeering and Drug Conspiracies

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake today sentenced Taurus Tillman, a/k/a Tash, age 30, of Baltimore, to 25 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to participate in a drug distribution conspiracy and a violent racketeering enterprise known as Trained To Go (TTG).  The racketeering conspiracy included eight murders, as well as drug trafficking and witness intimidation.  Tillman and his co-defendants were also convicted of a drug distribution conspiracy involving heroin, marijuana, and cocaine. 

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.

“Taurus Tillman and his fellow gang members terrorized the Sandtown community.  Thanks to the partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement, these drug dealers will no longer peddle death in West Baltimore,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Violent gang members must know that gun crime leads to federal time.  Hopefully criminals who are not deterred from carrying guns by the threat of prison can be deterred by the reality of years spent in a federal prison far from home—where there is no parole. Ever.”

According to the evidence presented at their 24-day trial, Tillman and his co-defendants are all members of TTG, a criminal organization that operated in the Sandtown neighborhood of West Baltimore, whose members engaged in drug distribution and acts of violence including murder, armed robbery, and witness intimidation.  As part of the conspiracy, each defendant agreed that a conspirator would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity for TTG. 

The evidence at trial showed that members and associates of TTG, including Tillman, sold heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, and worked to defend their exclusive right to control who sold narcotics in TTG territory.  The jury found that Tillman distributed at least one kilogram of heroin over the course of the conspiracy.  In addition, the evidence proved that between May 20, 2010 and January 9, 2017, Tillman, his co-defendants, and other members of TTG committed acts of violence, including eight murders, shootings, armed robbery, and witness intimidation.  Murders were committed in retaliation for individuals robbing TTG members of drugs and drug proceeds, or while TTG members robbed others of their drugs and drug proceeds, as well as in murder-for-hire schemes.  Further, the defendants engaged in witness intimidation through violence or threats of violence, to prevent individuals from cooperating with law enforcement.

The leader of the gang, Montana Barronette, a/k/a Tana, and Tanner, age 23, and his brother, Terrell Sivells, a/k/a Rell, age 27, both of Baltimore, were each sentenced to life in prison on February 15 and April 26, 2019, respectively.  Co-defendant Brandon Wilson, a/k/a Ali, age 24, also of Baltimore, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on March 1, 2019.  Two other co-defendants, John Harrison, a/k/a Binkie, age 28, and Linton Broughton, a/k/a Marty, age 25, both from Baltimore, were sentenced to life in prison and to 30 years in prison, respectively, on March 15, 2019.

The remaining defendants convicted at the trial are from Baltimore, and face a maximum sentence of life in prison on the racketeering and drug conspiracies.  They include: Dennis Pulley, a/k/a Denmo, age 31; and Timothy Floyd, a/k/a Tim Rod, age 28.  The defendants remain detained.

Three other TTG members previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced to between five and 25 years in prison.  Another defendant, Roger Taylor, a/k/a Milk, is a fugitive.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI Baltimore Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force, which includes FBI special agents and task force officers from the Baltimore, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County Police Departments.  FBI Baltimore Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force is responsible for identifying and targeting the most violent gangs in the Baltimore metropolitan area, to address gang violence and the associated homicides in Baltimore.  The vision of the program is to use federal racketeering statutes to disrupt and dismantle significant violent criminal threats and criminal enterprises affecting the safety and well-being of our citizens and our communities.      

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.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.               

Tillman is still facing charges for allegedly assaulting employees of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) while he was detained and being transported to and from the courtroom during their trial.  According to the indictment, on September 21, 2018, Tillman and co-defendant John Harrison assaulted two Deputy U.S. Marshals and a U.S. District Court Security Officer as they were being escorted from the courtroom during a break in the trial.  If convicted of the assault charges, Tillman faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison on these charges.  An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.  The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating the case.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur and Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski commended the FBI, the Baltimore Police Department, the ATF, the DEA, the Anne Arundel County Police Department, and the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Romano, Daniel C. Gardner, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Hanley formerly of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated May 21, 2019