Baltimore, Maryland - A Baltimore, Maryland, gang member was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to participate in a drug distribution conspiracy and a violent racketeering enterprise known as Trained To Go (TTG). The racketeering conspiracy included eight murders, as well as drug trafficking and witness intimidation.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur for the District of Maryland; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Baltimore District Office; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby made the announcement.
Taurus Tillman, aka Tash, 29, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake. Tillman and his co-defendants were also convicted of a drug distribution conspiracy involving heroin, marijuana, and cocaine. The Judge considered the alarmingly violent nature of the gang and therefore varied Tillman’s sentence significantly higher than the advisory guideline range.
According to the evidence presented at their 24-day trial, Tillman and his co-defendants are all members of TTG, a criminal organization that operated in the Sandtown neighborhood of West Baltimore, whose members engaged in drug distribution and acts of violence including murder, armed robbery and witness intimidation. As part of the conspiracy, each defendant agreed that a conspirator would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity for TTG.
The evidence at trial showed that members and associates of TTG, including Tillman, sold heroin, cocaine and marijuana, and worked to defend their exclusive right to control who sold narcotics in TTG territory. The jury found that Tillman distributed at least one kilogram of heroin over the course of the conspiracy. In addition, the evidence proved that between May 20, 2010 and Jan. 9, 2017, members of TTG committed acts of violence, including eight murders, shootings, armed robbery and witness intimidation. Murders were committed in retaliation for individuals robbing TTG members of drugs and drug proceeds, or while TTG members robbed others of their drugs and drug proceeds, as well as murder-for-hire schemes. Further, the defendants engaged in witness intimidation through violence or threats of violence, to prevent individuals from cooperating with law enforcement.
The leader of the gang, Montana Barronette, aka Tana and Tanner, 23, of Baltimore, was sentenced to life in prison on Feb. 15, 2019. Co-defendant Brandon Wilson, aka Ali, 24, also of Baltimore, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on March 1, 2019. Two other co-defendants, John Harrison, aka Binkie, 28, and Linton Broughton, aka Marty, 25, both from Baltimore, were sentenced to life in prison and to 30 years in prison, respectively, on March 15, 2019.
The remaining defendants convicted at the trial are all from Baltimore, and face a maximum sentence of life in prison on the racketeering and drug conspiracies. They include: Dennis Pulley, aka Denmo, 31; and Timothy Floyd, aka Tim Rod, 28. The defendants remain detained.
Three other TTG members previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced to between five and 25 years in prison. Another defendant, Roger Taylor, aka Milk, is a fugitive.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI Baltimore Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force, which includes FBI special agents and task force officers from the Baltimore, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County Police Departments. FBI Baltimore Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force is responsible for identifying and targeting the most violent gangs in the Baltimore metropolitan area, to address gang violence and the associated homicides in Baltimore. The vision of the program is to use federal racketeering statutes to disrupt and dismantle significant violent criminal threats and criminal enterprises affecting the safety and well-being of our citizens and our communities.
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. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
Tillman is still facing charges for allegedly assaulting employees of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) while he was detained and being transported to and from the courtroom during their trial. According to the indictment, on Sep. 21, 2018, Tillman and co-defendant John Harrison assaulted two Deputy U.S. Marshals and a U.S. District Court Security Officer as they were being escorted from the courtroom during a break in the trial. If convicted of the assault charges, Tillman faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison. An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating the case.
U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur and Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski commended the FBI, the Baltimore Police Department, the ATF, the DEA, the Anne Arundel County 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 Christopher J. Romano, Daniel C. Gardner and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Hanley formerly of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.