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Baltimore man sentenced for 2018 fatal shooting of 16-year-old and drug trafficking charges

A Baltimore man has been sentenced to more than two decades in federal prison for his participation in a drug trafficking organization and killing a teenager on a Southwest Baltimore Basketball court in 2018.

Justin Antoine, 25, was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and for discharging a firearm resulting in death during a drug trafficking crime.

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Antoine was part of a drug trafficking organization for nearly a year, between April 2018 and January 2019 operating in Edmondson Village located in Southwest Baltimore selling heroin and crack cocaine, prosecutors said.

While dealing drugs, Antione had on “several occasions” been robbed of drugs, drug proceeds, and a cell phone that Antoine used to communicate with drug customers, according to details in a plea agreement he made last year.

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Antoine sought out Jordan Deshields, 16, who he believed was involved in the string of robberies. On May 8, in 2018, Antoine went to the Mary Rodham Recreation Center armed with a loaded pistol, according to the plea. He walked up to Deshields, shooting him twice in the head in retaliation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew DellaBetta previously said the shooting was “essentially an execution.”

Deshields was killed around 8:20 p.m. in the 3600 block of W. Mulberry St. in the Allendale neighborhood and was a student at the New Era Academy, a middle/high school in Cherry Hill.

After the killing, Antoine continued his drug dealing, prosecutors said. Months after he killed Deshields, prosecutors said friends of Deshields came seeking vengeance in November, 2018, finding Antoine on a block where he frequently dealt drugs. As they drove by, one of Deshields’ friends opened fire, and Antoine fired back, prosecutors said.

In the exchange of gunfire, a bystander was struck and injured. Antoine also admitted to federal authorities that he was part of a shoot-out where the bystander was shot, court records show.

According to his plea deal, on Nov. 26, 2018 Antoine planned to rob an unlicensed taxi cab driver and threatened the driver after Antoine believed the driver refused to return a gun that he had left in the vehicle. A wiretapped phone call recorded Antoine saying he would be “splatting that sh*t” if the driver gave him any issues during the robbery. Another wiretapped call captured Antoine discussing how he would illegally purchase a firearm, authorities said.

Antoine was arrested by law enforcement in 2019. A loaded firearm and heroine were seized from him. Antoine told law enforcement that he had intended to distribute the drugs, authorities said.

“This case exemplifies the danger to the people of Baltimore resulting from the illegal drug trade,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner.

“Justin Antoine and his co-conspirators brought the deadly combination of guns and drugs into their community. This sentence sends a strong message that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners are working together to remove violent drug dealers like Antoine from our streets.”

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