For Immediate Release
Cherry Hill Hillside Gang Member Sentenced to More Than 12 Years in Federal Prison for Participating in a Racketeering Conspiracy
Admitted Committing Armed Robbery and Dealing Drugs; Total of 19 Hillside Gang Members and Associates Have Pleaded Guilty
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III today sentenced Delonte Conley, age 27, of Baltimore to 150 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise related to his activities as a member of the Hillside gang that operated in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.
“Delonte Conley chose to join an organized criminal enterprise that preyed on the Cherry Hill neighborhood by dealing drugs and committing violent gun crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. Now he will spend over 12 years in federal prison, where there is no parole—ever. Put down the guns and save a life—maybe even your own.”
“Identifying, investigating, and incarcerating the armed gunmen that menace Baltimore’s communities is ATF’s primary focus,” said ATF Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada. “ATF is determined to collaborate with our law enforcement partners in our fight to ensure Baltimore neighborhoods can be free of violence.”
According to his plea agreement, Conley was a member and associate of the Hillside Enterprise, which he knew distributed powder and crack cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and marijuana, primarily in the Cherry Hill Shopping Center, in other locations throughout Cherry Hill, and in west and southwest Baltimore City. The members of the Hillside Enterprise used the proceeds of their narcotics sales to purchase firearms, to enrich themselves, and to further the activities of the organization, including narcotics trafficking. Hillside members used residences in and around Cherry Hill to cut and package drugs for distribution, primarily heroin, powder cocaine, and crack. These locations included a house at 453 Roundview Road and an apartment at 2300 Terra Firma Road in Cherry Hill. Only trusted members of the Hillside Enterprise were admitted to these locations while the drugs were being prepared for sale. Between December 13, 2014 and November 12, 2015, Conley was captured on video in both of the cut houses, preparing controlled substances for distribution. In an effort to distinguish their narcotics, members used colored topped vials or colored the drugs with food coloring. Conley admitted that he distributed drugs as a member of the Hillside Enterprise, and on behalf of the gang. Throughout Conley’s involvement in Hillside, he was aware that Hillside distributed between one and three kilograms of heroin, and between five and 15 kilograms of cocaine, as well as crack cocaine.
Members of the Hillside Enterprise routinely carried firearms and committed acts of violence in furtherance of the organization’s activities, including robberies, shootings, beatings, murders, and other violence in order to intimidate others who would interfere with their narcotics trafficking. Acts of violence were also committed to discipline members within the Hillside Enterprise for transgressions, real or perceived, against the conspiracy.
Hillside members and associates have been in a long-running dispute with persons not part of the gang, including Up Da Hill (“UDH”), the Lakebrook Circle Boys, and others. Members and associates of Hillside have routinely engaged in acts of violence, including murder, directed at members of these rival organizations, or persons who happen to be located on territory controlled by these rival organizations. Conley knew that these acts of violence, including the homicides, were committed by Hillside members and associates. Conley further admitted that he personally participated in an armed robbery where shots were fired during the robbery, but no one was hit, as well as an assault on another Hillside member as punishment for improperly handling drug proceeds.
Eighteen other Hillside gang members have pleaded guilty to their participation in the racketeering conspiracy. Of those, eight have been sentenced to between 10 and 30 years in federal prison.
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 Robert K. Hur commended the ATF, the Baltimore 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 Patricia C. McLane and Michael C. Hanlon, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.
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