Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Cherry Hill Gang Member Sentenced to 21 Years in Federal Prison for a Racketeering Conspiracy, Including Murdering a Rival Gang Member
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III today sentenced Deaven Cherry, age 35, of Baltimore, Maryland to 21 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for a conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
The sentence was announced by 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) Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Interim Chief Dennis J. Delp of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to his guilty plea, Cherry was an associate of a gang known as “Hillside” which operated in part of Cherry Hill in Baltimore, Maryland. Members of Hillside distributed powder and crack cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and marijuana, primarily in a local shopping center, in other locations throughout Cherry Hill, and in west and southwest Baltimore City. The members of Hillside used the proceeds of their narcotics sales to purchase firearms, to enrich themselves, and to further the narcotics trafficking and other activities of the organization. Hillside members also committed acts of violence, including robberies, non-fatal shootings and homicides.
As stated in his plea agreement, Hillside members and associates have been in a long-running dispute with rival gang members, including Up Da Hill (“UDH”), the Lakebrook Circle Boys, and others. Members and associates of Hillside have routinely engaged in murder and other acts of violence directed at members of these rival gangs, or persons in the territories controlled by these rival gangs. Cherry knew members of Hillside sold narcotics and committed violent acts against rival gangs or others who impeded on Hillside’s territory. Further, Cherry admitted that he participated in Hillside’s racketeering enterprise, including the murder of a UDH member (Victim 1). On May 22, 2010, Cherry shot and murdered Victim 1 in the 2900 block of Denham Circle. Later that day, Cherry was in possession of a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine containing 21 rounds. Ballistic evidence confirmed that Cherry’s firearm was used to murder Victim 1. Cherry also admitted that it was reasonably foreseeable to him that Hillside was responsible for the distribution of between one and three kilograms of heroin, between five and 15 kilograms of cocaine, between 280 and 840 grams of crack cocaine, as well as marijuana and oxycodone.
Cherry and co-defendant Travis Alewine fled after their indictment and were fugitives until their arrests in 2020 and 2019, respectively. Nineteen other Hillside co-defendants pleaded guilty and were sentenced to up to 23 years in federal prison. Travis Alewine has also pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 20, 2023, at 9:30 a.m.
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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
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 also 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.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron praised the ATF, the Baltimore County Police Department, and the Baltimore City Police Department for their work in the investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Patricia C. McLane and Brandon K. Moore, who are prosecuting the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psn