For Immediate Release
Six Remaining Cherry Hill Hillside Gang Members Plead Guilty to Federal Racketeering Conspiracy Charges
Defendants Agree with Federal Prosecutors to Recommend Sentences of Between 12 and 23 Years in Federal Prison; Total of 19 Defendants Have Now Pleaded Guilty and Two Are Fugitives
Baltimore, Maryland – On Thursday, April 11, 2019, six Baltimore men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise related to their activities as members of the violent Hillside gang that operated in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. As part of their plea agreements, the defendants admitted to participating in murders; attempted murders, robberies; and the distribution of narcotics. The following defendants pleaded guilty:
Keenan Lawson, a/k/a BlackFace, age 27;
Michael Evans, a/k/a Pee Wee, age 25;
Kevin Horsey, a/k/a What What, age 26;
Stevie Lawson, a/k/a GB, age 28;
Terrell Luster, a/k/a Relly, age 31; and
Caesar Rice, a/k/a Stinky, age 27.
Thirteen other Hillside gang members have previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the racketeering conspiracy. Of those, eight have been sentenced to between 10 and 30 years in federal prison.
The guilty pleas were 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.
“These gang members brought terror and death to Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood with guns and drugs. Federal, state, and local law enforcement are committed to working together to target those responsible for the most violence in Baltimore City,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “These defendants admitted that they were part of an organized criminal enterprise with leaders and members who dealt drugs and committed violent crimes using guns. Now they face lengthy sentences in federal prison, where there is no parole—ever. I urge anyone who’s thinking of following these defendants’ example: Please, 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 plight to ensure Baltimore neighborhoods can be free of violence.”
According to their plea agreements, the defendants were members and associates of the Hillside Enterprise, which they 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. In an effort to distinguish their narcotics, members used colored topped vials or colored the drugs with food coloring. All six defendants admitted that they distributed drugs as a member of Hillside, and on behalf of the gang. Stevie Lawson is also captured on video in the stash houses on at least 16 occasions between November 2014 and June 2015, preparing controlled substances for distribution.
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. The defendants all knew that these acts of violence, including the homicides, were committed by Hillside members and associates, including murders committed by Terrell Luster and Keenan Lawson. For example, Luster, Horsey, Rice, Keenan Lawson and Evans all admitted that they participated in, or were present at shootings, generally of individuals whom they and their fellow Hillside members believed to be rival gang members.
As part of their plea agreements, all of the defendants have agreed with the government to recommend a sentence to the Court, with the recommendations ranging from 12 years to 23 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III has scheduled sentencing for Evans, Luster, Rice, and Horsey on July 12, 2019, and scheduled sentencing for Keenan and Stevie Lawson on July 19, 2019.
According to the ATF, a reward of $10,000 each is available for information leading to the arrest of the final two defendants in this case, fugitives Travis Eugene Alewine, a/k/a Sticks, age 27; and Deaven Raeshawn Cherry, a/k/a Gotti, age 32, both of Baltimore, who are charged federally with drug and racketeering conspiracies, including murders. They are actively being sought by ATF Baltimore Special Agents and the U.S. Marshals Service. They should be considered armed and dangerous. Law enforcement believes they are likely still in the counties near Baltimore City, if not within the city itself. Anyone with information should contact ATF at (888) ATF-TIPS, ATFtips@atf.gov, text “ATFBAL” to 63975, or contact ATF via the mobile reportit® app.
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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