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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Maryland
Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney
Contact: Alexis Abbott
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Cherry Hill Gang Member Admits to Murdering a Rival Gang Member and Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy To Participate in a Racketeering Enterprise

Baltimore, Maryland- Deaven Cherry, age 35, of Baltimore, Maryland pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.

The guilty plea 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 Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department.

“Deaven Cherry played a significant role in the Hillside gang’s violence, including selling poisonous drugs and murdering a rival gang member.  Now, he faces more than two decades in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney, Erek L. Barron.  “We hope this plea deters others who would ravage our communities.”

According to his guilty plea, Cherry was an associate of a group 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 the Cherry Hill 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 activities of the organization, including narcotics trafficking.  Hillside members also committed acts of robbery, and homicides, non-fatal shootings.

As stated in his plea agreement, 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.  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.  In order to carry out the murder of Victim 1, Cherry discharged a 9mm semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine and contained 21 rounds.  Ballistic evidence confirmed that Cherry’s firearm was used to murder Victim 1.

In 2019, Hillside co-defendants Kevin Horsey, Caesar Rice, and Michael Evans, all of Baltimore, were sentenced to 20 years, 22 years, and 14 years in federal prison; respectively for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.  Co-defendants Keenan Lawson and Terell Luster were also sentenced to 23 years in federal prison.

Cherry and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Cherry will be sentenced to 21 years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III, has scheduled sentencing for November 29, 2022, at 2:00 p.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 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.

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….

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 and

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