U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Maryland
(410) 209-4800
June 30, 2015

Drug and Gun Supplier for Cherry Hill Gang Sentenced to More Than 11 Years in Prison

BALTIMORE, MD—U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III sentenced Nathaniel Lightford, a/k/a “Taboo,” age 35, of Windsor Mill, Maryland, today to 135 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, in connection with his supervision of street distributors belonging to a group known as “Coppin Court” which operated in the Cherry Hill section of Baltimore.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.

According to his plea agreement, since at least 2003, Lightford was a main supplier of drugs to the Coppin Court group in the down the hill section of Cherry Hill. From 2003 to 2005, Lightford supplied a group of Coppin Court members who ran a shop referred to as the “Purple City” with crack cocaine and heroin, and stored his drugs in a stash house located at 800 Bethune Road in Cherry Hill. In 2005, Lightford supplied heroin to a highly successful heroin shop run by members of Coppin Court. And on at least one occasion in 2012 or 2013, Lightford supplied at least one Coppin Court member with crack cocaine and heroin at Lightford’s music studio, which is located in nearby Brooklyn.

On July 5, 2013, in the 900 block of Bethune Road, Lightford stabbed a Coppin Court member in his back with a knife.

Lightford has also supplied the Coppin Court group with firearms, including at least one assault-type weapon. Lightford stored the firearms in locations around the Coppin Court area so that members could access the guns for their protection from a rival gang or from robbery.

Because Lightford supplied both narcotics and firearms to the members of Coppin Court, he was viewed and operated as a supervisor of the street distributors. During his participation in the drug conspiracy Lightford admitted to distributing between three and 10 kilograms of heroin, and between 840 grams and 2.8 kilograms of cocaine base.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the ATF, Baltimore Police Department, and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and thanked the FBI, Baltimore County Police Department, Anne Arundel County Police Department and Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Andrea L. Smith, Seema Mittal and Patricia McLane, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

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