A 23-year-old Baltimore man has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for his role in the Hillside drug ring that trafficked heroin, cocaine, marijuana and oxycodone pills from the Cherry Hill Shopping Center of South Baltimore, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday.
Leonard Chase, known as “Nard,” pleaded guilty to racketeering in July, also admitting to his role in the killing of Freddie King. The 38-year-old man was gunned down in September 2012 at the light rail station in the Westport neighborhood. King had supplied Chase drugs and made a pass at Chase’s girlfriend, according to the plea agreement.
The Hillside organization sold drugs in Cherry Hill since at least 2002, using nearby stash houses to cut and package the drugs and often applying food coloring to mark their brand, Chase admitted with his plea.
During his time in the gang, Hillside sold between one and three kilograms of heroin, between 280 and 840 grams of crack cocaine, and five to 15 kilograms of powder cocaine, Chase admitted with his plea.
Chase admitted the drug dealers would routinely commit acts of violence to intimidate rivals.
Since 2013, federal prosecutors have convicted 35 people, they say, from three other gangs trafficking drugs in Cherry Hill, including “Up da Hill,” “Little Spelman,” and “Coppin Court.”