Eight members of the UDH (“Up Da Hill”) gang of the Cherry Hill neighborhood in Baltimore have pleaded guilty to federal gang conspiracy charges. The guilty pleas were made by Steven Jackson, 25; Asim Benns, 33; Gregory Sykes-Bey, 22; Elijah Sykes-Bey, 21; James Scott, 24; Michael Smith, 23; Donte Thornton, 30; and Alonzo Clea, 30, between April 1 and 4, before trial.
In their plea agreements, the UDH members admitted that the gang has been operating in Cherry Hill from at least 2007 to 2013. The gang has been at odds with a rival set operating in the Coppin Court area, known as “Down Da Hill.” Since 2011, UDH has also been beefing with the Little Spelman gang. According to WBAL News Radio 1090, “The defendants admitted to protecting their power, turf and profits through violence, threats, intimidation, robbery and drug trafficking.”
WBAL reports further:
In addition to being a member of UDH, Benns was also a high-ranking Black Guerilla Family member overseeing that area. He admitted to planning and/or participating in murders of two rival gang members and two non-fatal shootings. He sold heroin and other drugs there, and in 2011, he and other UDH members robbed two banks, using the proceeds to buy drugs for sale. All admitted to a part in UDH narcotics trafficking, including a number of shootings and murders related to the gangs’ feuds.
Under recommendations to be made to the judge, Benns will be sentenced to 20 to 25 years. Jackson and Smith will serve 25 years. Each of the Sykes-Bey brothers will be sentenced to 24 years. Clea will be sentenced to 10 years. Thornton will face 15 years. Scott will be sentenced to 10 to 15 years. Sentencing dates doe the eight are set between June and August.
A total of 35 UDH members have now pleaded guilty in federal court, according to prosecutors.