Terrell Sivells, a Leader of Violent West Baltimore Gang, Sentenced to Life in Prison for Federal Racketeering and Drug Conspiracy Charges, Including Murders and Witness Intimidation
Federal Jury Found Sivells Personally Participated in a Murder
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake today sentenced Terrell Sivells, a/k/a Rell, age 27, of Baltimore, to life in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for conspiring to participate in a violent racketeering enterprise known as Trained To Go (TTG). The racketeering conspiracy included eight murders—one committed by Sivells—as well as drug trafficking. Sivells and his co-defendants were also convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, marijuana, and cocaine. A federal jury convicted Sivells and seven co-defendants on October 31, 2018.
The sentencing 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 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.
“Terrell Sivells and his brother, Montana Barronette, led one of the most violent gangs operating in Baltimore City. Sivells personally participated in at least one murder and was a leader in the gang’s drug dealing,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “He and his fellow gang members terrorized the Sandtown neighborhood in order to profit from the drug trade. As a result of today’s sentence, justice has been served. Federal, state and local law enforcement will continue to work together to remove armed, violent criminals from our neighborhoods and bring them to justice in the federal system, which has no parole—ever.”
According to the evidence presented at their 24-day trial, Sivells 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 Terrell Sivells and Montana Barronette served as the leadership for TTG. Members and associates of TTG sold heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, and worked to defend their exclusive right to control who sold narcotics in TTG territory.
Specifically, the evidence proved that between May 20, 2010 and January 9, 2017, Sivells, his co-defendants, and other members of TTG committed acts of violence, including eight murders, shootings, armed robbery, and witness intimidation. Sivells was convicted of personally participating in at least one murder. The violent acts were intended to further the gang’s activities, protect the gang’s drug territory, and maintain and increase a member’s position within the organization. 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.
Montana Barronette, a/k/a Tana, and Tanner, age 23, of Baltimore, was sentenced to life in prison on February 15, 2019. 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 all from Baltimore, and face a maximum sentence of life in prison on the racketeering and drug conspiracies. They include: Taurus Tillman, a/k/a Tash, age 29, of Baltimore; 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 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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s 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.
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 Daniel C. Gardner, Christopher J. Romano, 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.