Baltimore man pleads guilty to federal conspiracy charges for involvement in Cherry Hill gang, murder

A Baltimore man who was a member of a violent gang based in South Baltimore pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.

Deaven Cherry, 35, aka “Gotti,” played a significant role in a gang called Hillside that operated in Cherry Hill for 14 years, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland said in a news release Wednesday. Cherry, charged with murder, went on the run in 2016 and was a fugitive for four years until his arrest by U.S. marshals in Baltimore County in 2020.


As part of his plea deal, a federal judge will likely sentence him to 21 years in prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 29.

“We hope this plea deters others who would ravage our communities,” U.S. Attorney Erek Barron said in a statement.


Cherry pleaded guilty to the May 2010 killing of Larry Griffin, an alleged rival gang member of an organization called Up Da Hill, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. As a member of the Hillside gang, Cherry participated in selling crack and powder cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and marijuana, mostly in the Cherry Hill Shopping Center. Associates of the enterprise also sold drugs in West and Southwest Baltimore.

Hillside members used their profits to buy guns and traffic narcotics, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. They also committed robbery, homicides and nonfatal shootings, the release said.

Cherry’s 2020 arrest was part of a crackdown on drug sales in the South Baltimore neighborhood where dozens of alleged members of the Hillside Enterprise and Up Da Hill were federally indicted on racketeering charges in 2016. During that time, Hillside members were feuding with Up Da Hill members and the Lakebrook Circle Boys gang. Hillside members committed acts of violence and murdered members of rival gangs and people who were in territory that was controlled by the rival gangs.

Several of Cherry’s co-defendants were sentenced in 2016 for charges of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise. Kevin Horsey, Caesar Rice and Michael Evans were sentenced to 20 years, 22 years and 14 years in federal prison, respectively. Keenan Lawson and Terell Luster were also sentenced to 23 years in federal prison.

Travis Eugene Alewine, aka “Sticks,” another member of the gang, was on the run for two years before he was arrested in 2019.