Sixteen Alleged Members and Associates of Southwest Baltimore “NFL” Gang Facing Federal Indictment, Including Federal Charges for a Racketeering Conspiracy Involving Four Murders and Murder-For-Hire
Indictment Alleges that Members and Associates of NFL Engaged in Witness Intimidation, Committed Four Murders, and Murder-for-Hire, and Participated in a Drug Trafficking Organization that Resulted in Numerous Overdoses, including Five Fatal Overdoses
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned a fourth superseding indictment charging 16 defendants with participating in violent racketeering and drug conspiracies that allegedly resulted in four murders, one attempted murder, five overdose deaths, and nine overdose distributions resulting in serious bodily injury. The fourth superseding indictment was returned on September 15, 2020, and includes three new defendants, as well as new charges, including a racketeering conspiracy, a murder-for-hire conspiracy, a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in serious physical injury and death, and related drug and gun charges.
The fourth superseding indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur stated, “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to reduce violent crime and deadly drug dealing and hold accountable those who bring them to our streets. And criminals should be on notice that witness intimidation and retaliation will not be tolerated—period. We are determined to root out the sources of this type of violence from our neighborhoods and seek the community’s continue help in doing so.”
“These are violent, dangerous men who have allegedly terrorized the streets of Baltimore for years with murder-for-hire plots, witness intimidation, drug trafficking, laced drugs and other brazen criminal acts,” said Jennifer C. Boone, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “This gang was devastating neighborhoods and destroying families. Today, together, with the help of our law enforcement partners, I am proud to announce these significant indictments. We will continue to work together to fight crime, but we also need the need community assistance through tips and information to help keep Baltimore safe.”
The following defendants are charged in the fourth superseding indictment:
Gregory Butler, a/k/a Gotti, Sags and Little Dick, age 28, of Baltimore;
Darran Malik Butler, a/k/a Lik, age 21, of Baltimore;
Bobby Cannon, a/k/a Freaky, age 23 of Baltimore;
Darean Cook, age 27, of Baltimore;
Juawan Davis, a/k/a Fat Daddy, age 24, of Baltimore;
Edward Buddy Hall, a/k/a Gwar, age 54, of Baltimore;
Timothy Legard, age 29, of Bunker Hill, West Virginia;
Davon Owens, a/k/a Gusto, age 31, of Baltimore;
D’Andre Preston, a/k/a Whiteboy and Whites, age 23, of Baltimore;
Desmond Ringgold, a/k/a Worm and Fool, age 28, of Baltimore;
James Henry Roberts, a/k/a Bub, age 29, of Baltimore;
Tirrel Saunders, a/k/a Pretty, age 32, of Baltimore;
Nathan Stanley, age 48, of Rixeyville, Virginia;
Jamie Wagoner, age 37, of Stephens City, Virginia;
Laura Warner, age 36, of Berkeley County; and
Emanuel Watkins, age 62, of Baltimore.
According to the 33-count indictment, from 2016 to March 26, 2020, Gregory Butler, Darran Butler, Cannon, Davis, Preston, and Roberts were part of the NFL criminal enterprise, which has social and familial ties to the Edmondson Village neighborhood in southwest Baltimore. The term NFL stands for Normandy, Franklin, and Loudon, which are three adjacent streets that run through the Edmondson Village. The fourth superseding indictment alleges that those six defendants engaged in a pattern of criminal racketeering activity including acts involving murder, narcotics trafficking and smuggling, illegal firearms possession, bribery, witness intimidation, and witness retaliation.
The fourth superseding indictment alleges that NFL members and associates purchased, maintained, and circulated weapons and firearms for use in criminal activity by NFL members and associates, sometimes obtaining firearms from drug customers as a form of payment in exchange for drugs. According to the fourth superseding indictment, NFL members used firearms in connection with the enterprise’s illegal activities, including, drug trafficking and acts involving murder, and used violence, threats, and intimidation to prevent victims and witnesses from cooperating with law enforcement against NFL members and associates about criminal acts committed by NFL.
According to the fourth superseding indictment, NFL members and associates were involved in murder and attempted murder, including murder-for-hire schemes. NFL members and associates offered bounties for the murder of witnesses and rivals and allegedly acted as brokers connecting hitmen with individuals who had offered bounties for the murder of witnesses and rivals. NFL members and associates also allegedly carried out contract killings to enrich themselves and to retaliate against witnesses and rivals.
Further, the fourth superseding indictment alleges that NFL members and associates used social media to promote the enterprise, including by posting displays of wealth and advertising affiliation to the NFL Enterprise, as well as to intimidate and retaliate against actual and suspected witnesses, including by posting displays of firearms, brandishing firearms, intimating the use of firearms, and revealing information about the identity of suspected cooperating witnesses. In addition, NFL members and associates assisted incarcerated NFL members and associates by moving evidence and contraband for them, and assisting with their drug trafficking operations while they remained incarcerated, including smuggling contraband cell phones and controlled substances into correctional facilities.
From at least 2016 through his arrest on April 3, 2019, Gregory Butler allegedly controlled a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that distributed large quantities of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The indictment alleges that in order to maximize their profits, members of the DTO cut the heroin and crack cocaine with other substances, such as fentanyl and diphenhydramine (often found in sleeping pills). As detailed in the fourth superseding indictment, the defendants were aware that the drugs they distributed were causing overdoses, with at least five overdose deaths being attributed to the distribution of drugs by members of the conspiracy, including the father of one of the conspirators.
If convicted, the six defendants charged with racketeering face a maximum of life in prison for the racketeering conspiracy; all the defendants except Preston, face a maximum of life in prison for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance resulting in death or serious physical injury; and Gregory Butler, Hall, and Wagoner each face a mandatory minimum of 20 years in federal prison and a maximum of life in prison, for each count of distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death or serious injury. Darran Butler, Preston, and Roberts also face a maximum of life in prison for conspiracy to use and/or for the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire; Davis, Owens and Roberts also face a maximum sentence of life in prison for possessing with intent to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, or fentanyl. Cannon, Preston, and Warner face a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison for possessing with intent to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, or fentanyl. Gregory Butler, Cannon, Davis, Hall, Owens, and Roberts also face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, and a maximum sentence of life in prison for possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Finally, Gregory Butler, Hall, Owens, Preston, and Roberts face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person. Fifteen defendants charged in the fourth superseding indictment have been arrested and are detained pending trial. Jamie Wagoner remains a fugitive.
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.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI, the DEA, the Montgomery County Police Department and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the City of Rockville Police Department; the Baltimore County, Howard County, and Montgomery 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. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew DellaBetta and Michael Goldsticker, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.
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