An enforcer for the CCC gang in Baltimore was sentenced on Thursday to serve 35 years in federal prison for taking part in at least four murders and three attempted murders, marking one of the harshest punishments handed down in the sweeping case.

U.S. District Chief Judge James K. Bredar noted that Correy Cawthorn, aka “Fat Correy,” 25 of Baltimore, experienced a horrible childhood and adolescence, which he said is sadly not an unusual story in the city.

But Cawthorn, he said, did not simply engage in activities such as buying and selling drugs. He took part in the killings of rivals. Bredar said he viewed the protection of the public as the most important factor in fashioning his sentence for racketeering conspiracy.

“At least four people are dead as a result of the defendant’s conduct,” Bredar said. “The defendant is profoundly dangerous.”

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The sentencing guidelines called for a punishment of life in prison.

Bredar said he credited statements from federal prosecutors that Cawthorn was not as culpable as a top leader in the gang,. That’s along with the fact that he accepted responsibility for his crimes.

When the sentence was handed down, Cawthorn shook his head, looked back at his family members and friends in the gallery of the courtroom in the Edward A. Garmatz U.S. Courthouse in Baltimore, and made comments to his attorney.

Law enforcement has alleged that the CCC gang — which stands for Cruddy Conniving Crutballs — was responsible for at least 18 killings and dozens of nonfatal shootings between 2015 and 2020. The group’s reputed founder, Gary Creek, killed himself after fleeing prosecution.

The investigation has resulted in the convictions of more than 30 members and associates of the gang.

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As part of the plea agreement, Cawthorn admitted that he was present during the deaths of four people and the attempted murders of three others:

Federal prosecutors, citing text messages and cellphone location information, believe that Cawthorn also committed the murder of a rival drug dealer, Darius Mason, 22, who was found with a gunshot wound to the head in the parking lot of a Family Dollar store on Harford Avenue near Christopher Avenue in Westfield on July 29, 2018.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia McLane pushed for a sentence of 35 years in prison, calling Cawthorn a “quasi-mentor” in the organization.

“Correy Cawthorn is the embodiment of Triple C,” McLane said. “He was a man of action for Triple C.”

When he was erroneously released from the Baltimore County Detention Center in 2019 despite having a federal detainer, she said Cawthorn “doubled down and taunted the judicial system while on the run.” In one post on X, formerly known as Twitter, he wrote, “FedsII want me so bad but they don’t have a clue THEY LOST.”

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McLane said Cawthorn started killing when he was 16.

But Anthony Martin, Cawthorn’s attorney, asked for a sentence of 25 years in prison, describing his client as a follower, not a leader.

Cawthorn, he said, reported that he grew up in an “urban war zone.” He experienced significant losses in his life.

“I don’t think he’s completely a monster,” said Martin, who added that his client wanted to leave the gang as early as 2017. “I believe that he’s going to demonstrate to you that he is remorseful.”

His presentation was interrupted at one point when a woman in the gallery suffered a seizure.

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Martin asked the judge to impose a sentence that would give his client hope and motivate him to change.

Three family members, including Cawthorn’s mother, Vonda Cole, spoke and asked the judge to show mercy at sentencing.

Meanwhile, Cawthorn apologized to the court as well as the loved ones of the victims and his own family members.

“I know the things I did were wrong,” Cawthorn said. “I apologize.”

As members of the U.S. Marshals Service escorted him out of the courtroom, Cawthorn turned toward the more than a dozen loved ones who filled the gallery and said, “Love you all.”

They replied, in unison: “Love you too, Correy.”

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