(Updated 5/14/2016)  U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III this week sentenced other members of the UDH criminal organization to long prison terms, bringing to 28 the number of Cherry Hill gang members now in prison, Baltimore law enforcement agencies announced.


Elijah Sykes-Bey, 22, and Michael Smith, 23, both of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise for their gang activities as members of UDH, which operates in the Cherry Hill section of Baltimore. Sykes-Bey, also known as “LaLa,” and Smith, known as “Lil Mikey,” were each sentenced to 24 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

According to prosecutors, the UDH gang operated in the “Up the Hill” or “Up da Hill” section of Cherry Hill from at least 2007 to 2013. At alternative times during that period, UDH was involved in disputes with rival gangs “Coppin Court” and “Little Spelman,” both of which operated in the part of Cherry Hill known as “Down the Hill” or “Down da Hill.”

As a matter of course, UDH members employed intimidation and violence, including assaults, murder and attempted murder, to protect themselves and retain control of the drug trade in their territory. The gang distributed at least 1 kilogram of heroin, 5 kilograms of cocaine, 280 grams of crack cocaine, and marijuana. And members committed carjackings and street and bank robberies to finance their narcotics enterprise.

Sykes-Bey testified that he participated in all of it, including the murders of two rival gang members. Smith admitted to the same, including the assassination of rival gang member Charles Pratt on Aug. 9, 2009, in the 600 block of Cherry Hill Road.

Including the pair, 35 Cherry Hill gang members have pleaded guilty to criminal activity tied to their gang membership, but seven have yet to be sentenced. The latest sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Daniel L. Board Jr. of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO