A Philadelphia man who took money from a drug trafficker to kill six people in Philadelphia plead guilty in federal court Wednesday.
Ernest Pressley, 42, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to one county of conspiracy to commit murder for hire and four counts of crossing state lines to in the commission of murder-for-hire.
“Ernest Pressley is an incredibly dangerous individual with no qualms about accepting money to calculatedly and cold-bloodedly murder anyone,” U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero said.
Pressley was initially accused of murdering four victims in Philadelphia between 2017 and 2018—however, he pleaded guilty to killing two other victims in 2016 and 2017, and the attempted murder of a woman in 2018.
“He’s an obvious menace with zero respect for human life and the city is unequivocally safer with him behind bars,” the special agent overseeing the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, Jacqueline Maguire, said.
The FBI and Philadelphia Police Department opened up the investigation in late 2018 after the death of a victim known as S.S., whom Pressley shot in a parking lot near 7400 Malvern Avenue on September 1.
They caught Pressley with S.S. and several other men on footage in a Philadelphia bar the night before the shooting, and he was arrested a week later.
Pressley was also responsible for killing two tow truck drivers who worked for A. Bob’s Towing in January of 2017. He killed K.F., one driver, to prevent them from testifying as a witness at an assault trial in Philadelphia. He also shot
To try to portray the killing as a feud between A. Bob’s Towing and another tow truck company, Pressley randomly chose one of K.F.’s co-workers, known as E.R., and shot him to death.
Then, Pressley entered K.F.’s tow truck, which was being driven by another coworker, and opened fire. He killed K.F. and injured the coworker who was shot several times in his lower body.
Pressley also killed a fourth victim known as M.R. as they worked on his car at a garage in the area of the intersection of East Sharpnack and Baldwin Streets in Philadelphia.
In addition to the murders he was accused of, Pressley also admitted to killing C.Y. July 19, 2016, while they sat on the porch of a residence near 1500, West Olney Avenue.
Pressley also provided the location of C.Y., a man he knew was wanted dead, to a drug trafficker, eventually resulting in his death—which also resulted in the death of a victim known as Y.H., who was killed as result of mistaken identity near the intersection of 56th Street and Ithan Street on July 24, 2018.
Finally, Pressley shot a woman in the arm as she came home to her residence on North Woodstock Street on July 9, 2018. While she survived the encounter, Pressley robbed her home and was caught selling her Rolox watch at a Philadelphia pawn shop.
Pressley’s prosecution is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force’s investigation, which seeks to dismantle the highest-level drug traffickers, gangs, and criminal organizations.
Pressley will be sentenced to life in prison for the murders.