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Crime

26-year-old sentenced to 25 years in probe of Southwest Baltimore ‘NFL’ gang

A federal judge sentenced a Baltimore man to 25 years in prison following his guilty plea to racketeering charges stemming from his involvement in a Southwest Baltimore gang, including his participation in a contract killing in 2018.

D’Andre Preston, 26, admitted in a plea agreement that he participated in a Oct. 31, 2018 shooting in a Baltimore convenience store that killed Leonard Shelley, a 33-year-old who prosecutors said in the plea agreement was the target of a bounty. Preston accompanied Darran Malik Butler, now 23, who prosecutors said was solicited by an unnamed co-conspirator to carry out the killing so the “NFL” gang could collect the bounty.

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The Department of Justice said in a news release that Preston participated in the “NFL” gang from 2016 to 2020. “NFL” stands for Normandy, Franklin, and Loudon, three adjacent streets in Baltimore’s Edmondson Village neighborhood, the release says.

Butler pleaded guilty to racketeering charges related to the killing and was sentenced in November to 25 years in federal prison.

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Preston admitted to participating in the “NFL” enterprise’s illegal activities, which also included distributing heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine to customers and re-distributors from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, according to the plea agreement.

His attorney, Christopher Michael Davis, did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday evening. In a sentencing memorandum, the D.C. attorney wrote that Preston “has a long history of drug abuse,” requesting that his client is “housed in a facility with long term drug treatment.”

In addition to the 25-year prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Julie R. Rubin also ordered for Preston to be placed on supervised release for five years. She recommended that the Federal Bureau of Prisons places him in a correctional institution in West Virginia or Pennsylvania, and suggested the prison bureau places him in a substance abuse program.

Davis filed a notice that Preston would be appealing his sentence to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The attorney noted he would no longer be participating in the case.

The justice department said over 30 defendants listed in the sweeping indictment of the gang’s members have pleaded guilty.


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