Malik “Lik” Derry, an alleged enforcer for the Atlantic City “Dirty Block” gang, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday. After a six-week trial, he was convicted of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and various violent shootings.
The “Dirty Block” gang was led by Malik’s brother Mykal “Koose” Derry, who himself is serving life in prison as well after having been convicted of drug and gun crimes. Malik Derry acted as the gang’s enforcer, but was also active as a street level dealer, selling dope to junkies in the lucrative drug trafficking area of the Stanley Holmes public housing complex, and Brown’s Park.
He switched roles from dealer to enforcer whenever the “Dirty Block” gang’s power was questioned. Malik Derry, his brother Mykal, and other gang members routinely carried loaded handguns and engaged in at least eight drug related shootings between October 2010 and February 2013, including the shooting of a teenager on April 17, 2011, which left the victim paralyzed.
Additional testimony at Malik Derry’s trial established that he and his brother planned and carried out the shooting murder of a rival drug dealer in Atlantic City on the evening of February 10, 2013. Mykal Derry told members of his gang that he wanted them to “put him down” (referring to an order to shoot the rival dealer) when they saw him.
Malik Derry heard his brother loud and clear and, in a scene reminiscent of television series Breaking Bad, shot the dealer in the head from close range while riding a bicycle past him as the victim stood in front of an Atlantic City restaurant.
The murder weapon, a stolen .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun, was later recovered from the drop ceiling in an apartment located on Green Street in Atlantic City, which, at the time, was shared by Mykal Derry and his girlfriend, Kimberly Spellman. Atlantic City police detectives also found 18 “bricks” of heroin (approximately 900 individual packets of heroin) and drug packaging materials inside the apartment.
When the case hit the courtroom, there wasn’t much Malik Derry and his brother could do. The evidence presented by the government consisted of recordings of hundreds of telephone calls and text messages between Mykal Derry, Malik Derry, and over 19 other members of the gang, physical evidence including the recovery of twenty firearms, ballistics evidence from shooting scenes, crime scene evidence from eight different shooting scenes in Atlantic City, recovery of substantial quantities of heroin and drug packaging materials, approximately $40,000 in drug proceeds, the testimony of dozens of FBI agents and Atlantic City police detectives, ballistics experts, a narcotics expert, and two cooperating witnesses who had previously pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking offenses.
They were street kings while it lasted, but now 25-year-old Malik and his 36-year-old brother Mykal will spend the rest of their lives behind bars for the criminal acts they committed.
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