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Hitman for Southwest Baltimore gang pleads guilty to federal charges

A 24-year-old Baltimore man pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to charges that he carried out two contract murders — including the killing of a federal witness — for a Southwest Baltimore gang.

Bobby Cannon is facing between 29 and 36 years in federal prison, under the terms of his plea to participate in a violent racketeering conspiracy. He is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

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Cannon admitted that he was a member of the “N.F.L.” gang, which stands for Normandy, Franklin and Loudon streets in Edmondson Village, and that the gang paid him to carry out the killing of Wilbert Epps, who was cooperating after being indicted federally on drug and forearms charges in 2016.

Epps, 37, and a woman named Jermiah Harper, 21, were gunned down June 16, 2018, three days before Epps was scheduled to be sentenced, as they sat on a porch in the 3900 block of Edmondson Ave. Federal prosecutors have previously said Harper was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

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Cannon also admitted to carrying out a second shooting for the gang in exchange for money, which occurred outside of a federal halfway house. Prosecutors said Cannon planned the murder for several weeks, and waited for the target to emerge from the home. After waiting several hours, the target emerged and Cannon shot him multiple times. The victim suffered life-threatening injuries but survived.

The FBI arrested members of the N.F.L. crew in April 2019, but Cannon was not among them. He would be recorded on jail calls speaking to other members about keeping their drug sales going. On Dec. 28, 2019, police officers saw Cannon unconscious in a parked van and saw that he had a gun. They searched the van and recovered 98 grams of fentanyl.

Cannon ditched the car and a female associate falsely reported it stolen.

More than 30 people were charged in the sprawling N.F.L. indictment, which alleged other murders and shootings, and tied the group to fatal drug overdoses.

Two of the defendants whose cases remain pending are also accused of being involved with the killing of Epps that Cannon admitted carrying out: the indictment alleges Gregory Butler offered money to have Epps killed, and another man, James Henry “Bub” Roberts recruited people to carry it out.

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