Three members of the UDH criminal organization based in Baltimore’s Cherry Hill were sentenced this week to double-digit prison terms for racketeering conspiracy charges after admitting to their involvement in gang activities.

The men’s plea agreements brings to 35 the number of Cherry Hill gang members who have pleaded guilty to gang involvement and related crimes. And, 26 of those defendants, including the recent trio, have been sentenced to up to 35 years in prison, according to the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland.

On July 15, U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III sentenced Asim Benns to 275 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervise release. The 33-year-old, also known as “Seem” was a member of UDH, named for the “Up Da (the) Hill” section of Cherry Hill, and was also a high-ranking member of the Black Guerilla Family gang with oversight of that neighborhood.

Judge Russell also sentenced UDH gang members Donte “Tay” Thornton, 30, to 15 years in federal prison, and James “Mook Day” Scott, 24, to 10 years in federal prison, each followed by five years of supervised release.

All three defendants admitted that part of their duties as UDH gang members was to maintain their power, territory and profits through the use of violence, including murder, intimidation, robbery and drug trafficking.

Benns told prosecutors that he planned and/or participated in the murders of two rival gang members, and two other shootings.  In July and August of 2011, Benns and other UDH members also robbed two banks, stealing a total of $11,100, which they used to buy drugs to sell.

Thornton said he worked with Benns on one of the July 2011 bank heists and participated in a 2003 shooting and a 2007 murder of a rival gang member.

All three men admitted to taking part in the gang’s drug trafficking enterprise, distributing several kilos of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana.

 

Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO