There was no romancing the man with the gavel. Detroit drug dealer Stephen (Don Juan) Barry-Gibbons was sentenced this week by a state judge in Erie, Pennsylvania to 55 years in prison for narcotics trafficking in territory he took by force in the 2000s. The 31-year old Don Juan didn’t keep his feelings of outrage and disappointment a secret.

“I didn’t have a key to the (front door), I never sold drugs to nobody during this whole investigation,” he hollered at Erie County Superior Judge Michael E. Dunleavy as he was being ushered out of the courtroom by Erie County Sheriff’s Department Deputies.

A spring 2016 raid of Barry-Gibbons’ Pennsylvania residence yielded close to $100,000 worth of heroin and cocaine, $15,000 in cash and four unregistered firearms. He was found guilty at trial last month of drug and gun charges. In 2007, Barry-Gibbons got convicted in a drug conspiracy case and three years later in August of 2010, he pled guilty to third-degree murder in the gangland style slaying of underworld rival Arthur (A.J.) Cheeks.

Barry-Gibbons and his crew of Detroiters arrived in Erie in the mid-2000s and promptly went to war with an organization Cheeks belonged to in a battle for drug turf located in nearby New Castle. Cheeks was gunned down as he tried to take cover from an ambush behind the wheel of his SUV parked in his driveway on the morning of December 23, 2006.

Per court records, Cheeks had shot up a house occupied by Don Juan lieutenant and native Detroiter, Artis (Little B) Chapman in the weeks before he was killed. Just hours after Cheeks got bumped off, his brother Sammy was arrested on weapons charges when he was intercepted by area police heading over to a Detroit gang hangout to retaliate.

Stephen “Don Juan” Barry-Gibbons

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