By Michelle Richardson, Special to the AFRO
A Baltimore judge sentenced two men to more than a decade combined in Federal prison for the attempted robbery of undercover agents.
Menard Hazelwood, 29, of the 200 block of S. Catherine St, and Donte Smith,34, of the 1000 block of Renick Court pleaded guilty in September to assaulting a federal officer and using a gun in a violent crime. Hazelwood (13 years) and Smith (12 years) were sentenced by U.S. District Judge George Russell III.
May 26, 2017, Hazelwood and Smith were set to meet with a unknown police informant in Southwest Baltimore to complete a $2,500 heroin deal.
According to police officer testimony and confessions by the two convicted men, Hazelwood and Smith approached the vehicle occupied by undercover agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives with guns drawn and demanded money. But, the agents sent a distress signal to a backup team waiting close by.
When backup officers arrived, both Hazelwood and Smith attempted to flee the scene; Smith was shot multiple times and spent weeks in the hospital after multiple surgeries.
“These defendants thought they were robbing drug customers, which happens all too often in Baltimore,” U.S. Attorney for Maryland Robert Hur said in a statement. “Hopefully, the sentences imposed today send a message to those who would commit violence that gun crime will lead to federal time.”
The office of the State’s Attorney determined the shooting of Smith was justified.