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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Baltimore Cocaine Trafficker Exiled to 10 Years in Prison

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Dawron Kip Mason, age 26, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Steven L. Gerido of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; and Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to his plea agreement, on November 3, 2011 a confidential source working with ATF told Mason that he knew a disgruntled narcotics courier for a drug trafficking organization who would be interested in contracting Mason and his crew to commit an armed robbery and home invasion to steal cocaine stored in the location. During the meeting, Mason assured the confidential source that he was experienced in this area and wanted to commit the robbery. Mason said he had a .45 caliber handgun and a shotgun ready, and other individuals ready to assist him.

The confidential source arranged a meeting to introduce an ATF undercover agent to Mason. Mason and the undercover agent, posing as the narcotics courier, met a couple times to plan the robbery. The undercover agent explained that he would be expected to arrive to pick up two kilograms of cocaine, but that he would always see another eight to 10 kilograms of cocaine at the location. The undercover agent further advised that he frequently saw the same two individuals in the residence and that one of them always carried a gun. Mason said that he and his crew would either beat or kill the men in the stash house and that they would be armed with guns. All of the cocaine stolen from the location would be divided evenly among the conspirators.

On November 14, 2011, the day of the planned robbery, the undercover agent and confidential source spoke with Mason several times, during which Mason reiterated his willingness to commit the robbery. The undercover agent then met with Mason and his conspirators. Mason arrived at the meeting in his vehicle which was filled with six others. The details of the robbery were discussed, and Mason and his men were given the opportunity to refuse to participate in the robbery. None of the conspirators, however, left.

After the meeting concluded, law enforcement agents arrested the conspirators. Mason attempted to flee by driving a Ford Explorer into a moving police van, through a six foot high chain link fence and a parking lot where they crashed into a bystander’s vehicle, and finally across four lanes of traffic. Mason’s vehicle became disabled and the conspirators attempted to flee on foot. One or more of the individuals are believed to have discharged a gun at pursuing law enforcement officers. All were eventually detained. A nine mm pistol, .38 caliber revolver and .45 caliber pistol were seized from the vehicle.

Co-defendants Michael Allen Smith, age 20, Douglas McArthur Thomas, age 23, Donte Terrell Thornton, age 28, and Christopher Lee Turpin, age 29, all of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the conspiracy. Brandon Sykes, age 26, of Baltimore, was convicted at trial. The defendants await sentencing.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys John W. Sippel, Jr., and Clinton J. Fuchs, who prosecuted the case.

Updated January 26, 2015