Baltimore, Maryland – Rashaud Nesmith, a/k/a Shaud, age 21, and Michael Chester, a/k/a Mikkie, age 23, both of Baltimore, have pleaded guilty to their participation in a racketeering conspiracy, including attempted murder and murder, respectively, related to their participation in the violent street gang known as Cruddy Conniving Crutballs or Triple C, that operated throughout Baltimore City. Chester entered his guilty plea today and Nesmith entered his plea yesterday.
Rashaud Nesmith also pleaded guilty to a second racketeering conspiracy charge in connection with his participation in a group that conspired to commit multiple armed carjackings and robberies throughout Baltimore City.
The guilty pleas were announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
According to Nesmith’s plea agreement, Nesmith admitted that in connection with the carjacking and robbery conspiracy, Nesmith participated in a carjacking and two armed robberies and an attempted armed robbery, during two victims were shot and killed and one was shot and seriously injured. Specifically, a carjacking on April 19, 2019, in which a firearm was brandished; the July 23, 2019 robbery of Devon Chavis during which at least one member of the conspiracy discharged a firearm, striking and killing Chavis; the August 1, 2019 attempted robbery of Kendrick Sharpe, during which at least one member of the conspiracy fired a gun, striking and killing Sharpe; and the August 8, 2019 robbery of a victim, during which at least one member of the conspiracy fired a gun, striking and severely injuring the victim. In addition, Nesmith knew that his co-conspirators would commit other acts that he did not participate in, including a carjacking on June 12, 2019 where an individual was shot and killed, and five additional carjackings committed from June 12, 2019 through July 29, 2019.
According to Nesmith’s and Chester’s plea agreements, Triple C members engaged in a pattern of criminal racketeering activity between 2015 and 2020, including more than a dozen murders and numerous non-fatal shootings, robberies, and carjackings, in order to promote the reputation of Triple C and to command respect from the neighborhood. Other spin-offs of the gang are “SCL” and recently, “TRD.”
As detailed in the plea agreements, the gang benefitted financially from, and affected interstate commerce by, selling narcotics, murdering drug dealers, taking contract killings, and engaging in street robberies. Triple C members also robbed dice games for cash and occasionally carjacked vehicles. Members divided the proceeds of the robberies and murders among members who participated, and often contacted each other to commit a robbery if that member needed money.
Also, according to the plea agreements, Triple C members routinely used social media to identify and locate victims and to communicate with each other and share information concerning possible retaliation for violent crimes committed by gang members. Triple C members and associates used at least 14 firearms to commit crimes, often trading with each other or other groups to avoid detection through ballistic evidence. They limited conversations about criminal plans to members of Triple C and critiqued each other after committing crimes regarding ways to improve their actions.
Chester admitted that he participated in five murders during which at least one member of the conspiracy discharged a firearm, including the murder of Devonte Monroe on August 19, 2017, the murder of Carols Jones on August 28, 2017, the murder of Diamante Howard on April 21, 2018, the murder of Darius Mason on July 29, 2018, and the murder of Corey Moseley on December 31, 2018. In addition, Chester participated in an attempted murder on April 4, 2018 and on May 1, 2018 was found with the firearm which is a ballistics match to that attempted murder. Nesmith admitted that as part of his activities with Triple C, he participated in four attempted murders, including an attempted murder of an individual on February 24, 2019; the attempted murder of Bel Air Road rivals on March 2, 2019; and the attempted murder of two individuals on July 4, 2019. Chester and Nesmith acknowledged that as part of their activities with Triple C, they agreed to distribute controlled substances, including crack cocaine and that it was reasonably foreseeable to them that members of the conspiracy would commit additional murders, attempted murders, carjackings, and robberies.
Chester, Nesmith and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts their pleas, Chester will be sentenced to 20 years in federal prison and Nesmith will be sentenced to 40 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for Chester of October 7, 2022, at 10 a.m. U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher has scheduled sentencing for Nesmith on October 28, 2022, at 12 p.m.
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.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in these investigations and thanked the FBI and the Office of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney for their assistance in the investigations and prosecution. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia C. McLane, who is prosecuting these cases.
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