For Immediate Release
Member of Cherry Hill’s Hillside Drug Distribution Conspiracy Sentenced To 25 Years In Federal Prison
Admitted to the Murder of Baltimore Man in 2012
Baltimore, Maryland – On October 13, 2017, United States District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Leonard Chase a/k/a “Nard”, age 23, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 25 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise including, but not limited to, the murder of Freddie King. Chase admitted that he was a member of Hillside, a drug trafficking organization that operated for 14 years in the Cherry Hill section of Baltimore.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Daniel L. Board, Jr. of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.
According to his plea agreement, from at least 2002, a group known as Hillside distributed powder and crack cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, and marijuana, primarily at the Cherry Hill Shopping Center and other locations throughout Cherry Hill. Members of Hillside used the proceeds of their narcotics sales to purchase firearms, to enrich themselves, and to further the activities of the organization. Hillside members used residences in and around Cherry Hill to cut and package drugs for distribution. Only trusted members of Hillside, such as Chase, were admitted to these locations while the drugs were being prepared for sale. In an effort to distinguish their narcotics, Chase and other Hillside members used colored topped vials or colored the drugs with food coloring.
Chase admitted that they distributed heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and other narcotics.
During Chase’s involvement in the Hillside drug conspiracy, it was reasonably foreseeable to him that the conspiracy involved between one and three kilograms of heroin, between 280 and 840 grams of crack cocaine, between five and 15 kilograms of powder cocaine, as well as marijuana and oxycodone.
Members of Hillside, including Chase, also committed acts of violence in order to fund their narcotics activities and intimidate others who would interfere with their narcotics trafficking. For example, on September 8, 2012, Chase, and other members of Hillside shot and killed Freddie King.
Since 2013, federal prosecutors have convicted at least 35 members of three other rival drug-dealing organizations that operated in Cherry Hill: “Up da Hill,” “Little Spelman,” and “Coppin Court.”
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning praised the ATF, Baltimore Police Department, and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and thanked the FBI, Baltimore County Police Department, Anne Arundel County Police Department, and Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office for their assistance. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Seema Mittal and Patricia C. McLane, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.