From the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore:
Thirty-eight defendants have been arrested and are facing state and federal charges related to the operation of a drug distribution organization in the Latrobe Homes area of East Baltimore from at least 2008 through March 2011. Twenty-two defendants have been arrested on state indictments. Fifteen defendants have been arrested on a federal indictment that was returned on March 3, 2011, and unsealed today upon the arrest of the defendants. A 16th federal defendant was arrested previously and charged by criminal complaint. State search warrants were executed at 39 locations today, including residences and vehicles belonging to some of the defendants. At least 425 law enforcement officers from DEA, Baltimore Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Baltimore County Police Department participated in today’s enforcement operations, resulting in the seizure of heroin, marijuana, guns and approximately $69,000 in cash.
The charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Washington Field Division; Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.
“Wherever criminal gangs bring violence to our streets, that is where we will direct the resources needed to send them to prison,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “We must persist in this coordinated effort, because every American deserves to live in a safe neighborhood.”
“This successful investigation and takedown demonstrate that law enforcement works best when we all work together,” said Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein, referring to the United States Attorney’s Office, the Baltimore City Police, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City. “As for the contributions of my office, I commend Baltimore Assistant State’s Attorneys Jeanne Canal, Rebecca Finn, Tony Gioia, MiaBeth Marosy and Anna Mantegna for their tireless commitment to this extremely important case.”
“DEA and the Baltimore Police dismantled an entire Drug Trafficking Organization today. We got the top, we got the bottom and we got everybody in between,” stated Ava A. Cooper-Davis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “We arrested the leaders, mid- and lower-level members, street lieutenants, runners and street corners sellers of the organization. These arrests are representative of law enforcement’s commitment to keep this city safe from the violence and crimes associated with drug trafficking. The success of this case was the product of an extensive investigation by the DEA Baltimore District Office and the Baltimore Police Department along with our partners from the Baltimore City States’ Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” added Cooper-Davis.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld III said, “These 64 defendants – whom we believe have contributed to a considerable amount of violence and drug activity in East Baltimore – will be brought to justice to face both federal and state charges. After all is said and done, the most important part of what happened today is a demonstration of the formidable partnership between the federal government, the State of Maryland and Baltimore City and County to improve public safety and quality of life.”
According to the indictments and other court documents, from June 2008, through March 2011, the drug distribution organization conducted drug transactions in residential neighborhoods and other areas in Baltimore. The federal indictment alleges that the conspirators mainly obtained heroin and marijuana from suppliers in New York and California, respectively. Further, the indictment alleges that members of the conspiracy possessed firearms, and engaged in violence against members of the conspiracy who failed to perform required tasks.
The state defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin; conspiracy to distribute marijuana; conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin; with possession with intent to distribute heroin or marijuana; and with aiding and abetting in the drug distribution conspiracy. The maximum penalty for crimes involving heroin and cocaine is 20 years in prison. The maximum penalty for marijuana charges is five years in prison.
The defendants in the federal case are all charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin and face a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison for the drug conspiracy. The federal defendants had initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Baltimore today and were detained pending detention hearings beginning tomorrow.
An indictment or criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment or criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein thanked the DEA and Baltimore Police Department for their work in this investigation and expressed their appreciation to the United States Marshals Service, ATF and the Baltimore County Police Department for their assistance in today’s enforcement actions.
Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Bernstein commended Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorneys Tony Gioia, Miabeth Marosy, Jeanne Canal, Rebecca Finn and Anna Mantegna, who are prosecuting the state case and Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin Block and Special Assistant United States Attorney Christopher M. Mason, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney, who are prosecuting the federal case.
The following defendants, all from Baltimore unless otherwise noted, were arrested on state indictments:
For the following indictments, the dates of the conspiracy are June 2010 through March 10, 2011, at various locations in Baltimore City.
1) Conspiracy to Distribute/PWID/Poss Heroin with Melvin Thompson
a) Marquise Hayes, age 35;
b) Damian Lacks, age 26;
2) Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine with Kevin Jackson
a) Dante Turner, age 30;
3) Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana with Dana Bowman
a) Bruce Byrd, age 25;
b) Kofi Egyir, age 39;
c) Donovan Sterling, age 50;
d) Tabitha Williams, age 40;
e) Armond Dowdell, age 38.
4) Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin with Michael Johnson
a) John Basil, age 32;
b) Gina Delaney, age 30, of Jarrettsville, MD;
c) Douglas Mack, age 40, of Jarrettsville, MD.
5) Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana with Jeff Gibbs, Shawn Johnson and Donald Wright
a) Corbert Toliver, age 42;
b) Quincy Burden, age 37.
6) Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin with Donald Wright
a) Derrick Fox, age 38;
b) Durrance Britton, age 26;
c) Rodney Brown, age 43;
d) Alphonso Ross, age 47.
7) Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin with Shawn Johnson and Jeff Gibbs
a) Felicia Pearson, age 30;
b) Darrell Coulton, age 40;
The following defendant is charged in a separate indictment with Aiding and Abetting (did aid and abet (Person(s) to conspire to distribute (drug).
8.) Felicia Pearson, age 30 (Shawn Johnson and Jeff Gibbs, Heroin);
9) The following defendants are charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin with Antonio McNeely:
a) Todd Peartree a/k/a “Dirty,” age 34;
b) Robert Seymore a/k/a “Reds” and “Freckles,” age 50;
c) Jose Suarez a/k/a “Porch,” age 37;
The following defendants were arrested and are charged in the federal indictment with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana:
Shawn Johnson, age 41;
Kevin Jackson, age 29;
Dana Bowman, age 38;
Donald Wright, age 45;
Michael Johnson, age 23;
Melvin Thompson, age 28;
Jeff Gibbs, age 37;
William Hite, age 42;
Gerrard Mungo, age 47;
Tarad Payne, age 26;
Antonio Malone, age 33;
Christopher Wright, age 34;
Lateef Maple, age 22;
Antonio McNeely, age 33; and
Kevin Mobley, age 35.
All of the defendants are from Baltimore, except Antonio McNeely, who is from Cockeysville, Maryland.
Danielle Bagby, age 24, of Cockeysville, Maryland, was charged by criminal complaint on March 4, 2011, and arrested along with Antonio McNeely in connection with this conspiracy. Bagby and McNeely had initial appearances on March 4, 2011. McNeely remains detained. Bagby was released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.