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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2003

Violent Drug Gang Indicted in Baltimore

The Baltimore District Office's HIDTA Group 54 concluded an investigation concentrating on an organization operating in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Baltimore City, areas designated in HIDTA's "Target Initiative." The investigation's successes will certainly have a positive impact in these target areas. Of course, such successes would not be possible without the "Target Initiative".

The investigation started in September 2002, after several search warrants were executed in the areas of Rose Street and Milton Avenue. Information showed that Howard Peppers and members of his organization were responsible for distributing kilogram quantities of cocaine and marijuana in the areas of Rose Street and Milton Avenue.

During the investigation it was discovered that Peppers controlled street shops in the Eastern District and that Anthony Black was controlling operations of this street distribution.

In December 2002, a search on Pentland Avenue yielded several hundred bags of marijuana and a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun. In January 2003, arrested was Darrell Lucas, a fugitive from New York. Seized was over 150 grams of cocaine from Lucas. Lucas was wanted in New York on an outstanding warrant for attempted murder. Also, investigated were Barry Martin, Arthur Holt, Joe Milan, Rodney Brown, Rohon Tate, Bruce Byrd and Dwain Johnson.

Peppers was receiving cocaine from several sources. At the conclusion of the investigation, Baltimore City Grand Jury indictments were handed down on Howard Peppers for Drug Kingpin charges, as well as Barry Martin, Arthur Holt, Anthony Black, Joe Milan, Darrell Lucas, Rodney Brown, Rohon Tate, Bruce Byrd, and Dwain Johnson, all indicted on conspiracy charges relating to the investigations. Several search warrants were executed on March 4, 5 and 6, 2003. These searches resulted in the seizure of over 500 grams of powder cocaine, over 300 vials of packaged cocaine, approximately $50,000.00 in currency, five semi-automatic weapons, over 100,000 empty vials, vial tops, and Ziploc bags, Quinine, Manitol and other cutting materials.

This case is representative of the investigations being conducted by HIDTA under the "Target Initiative." The DEA Baltimore District Office remains vigilant in the strategy of targeting the highest level drug trafficking organizations in order to dismantle them. Through this tactic, the Baltimore District Office contributes to the overall law enforcement goal of making Baltimore a safer place to live and work.

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