FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 16, 2012
For Information Contact:
Maryland Man Convicted of the 2008 Killing
of a Federal Witness and Federal Drug Charges
- Victim Was to Testify Against the Defendant in a Drug Case -
WASHINGTON - Weldon Gordon, 33, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was convicted by a jury today of federal charges stemming from the 2008 slaying of a government witness, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Ava A. Cooper-Davis, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Division Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Mark A. Magaw, Chief of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, Police Department.
The verdict followed a two-week trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Gordon was convicted of four charges, including one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice by tampering with a witness; one count of tampering with a witness, victim or informant by killing, and two counts of unlawful distribution of 50 grams or more of cocaine base.
The Honorable Ricardo M. Urbina scheduled sentencing for May 17, 2012. Gordon faces a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole for the killing of a federal witness. The Court ordered that the defendant remain held without bond pending his sentencing.
According to the government’s evidence, the victim, 32-year-old Andre Hayes, was cooperating with the DEA in an investigation of drug activities. Gordon sold crack cocaine two times in the District of Columbia to Mr. Hayes, who was acting in an undercover capacity at the direction of the DEA. Additionally, Mr. Hayes covertly purchased narcotics from Gordon on one other occasion, March 5, 2008, in Prince George’s County.
Gordon was arrested on September 26, 2008 for violating federal narcotics laws, and was indicted for offenses that involve the sales he made to Mr. Hayes. On November 1, 2008, Gordon shot and killed Mr. Hayes to prevent Mr. Hayes from testifying as a witness in Gordon’s then-pending drug case. Mr. Hayes was slain while he was seated in a vehicle parked in the driveway of the Gordon family’s home in Prince George’s County. He was hit three times by the gunfire, including twice in the heart.
Evidence showed that Mr. Hayes was lured to that location by a co-conspirator of Gordon’s, who falsely befriended the victim. She earlier pled guilty to a charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice by tampering with a witness, and is awaiting sentencing.
“Weldon Gordon was found guilty today of four counts, including the murder of a federal government witness set to testify against Gordon in a 2008 federal drug case. This Office and this community will not tolerate such brazen acts of violence and intimidation committed in an attempt to obstruct justice,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “For Gordon’s heinous actions, there will be severe consequences as he will now spend the rest of his life in prison.”
“Due to the combined efforts of the DEA and the Prince George’s County Police Department, Weldon Gordon was convicted in federal court for murdering a DEA Confidential Source,” said Special Agent in Charge Cooper-Davis. “This investigation exemplifies how positive working relationships can result in removing violent offenders from our streets.”
“This is an excellent example of the power of collaboration between multiple law enforcement agencies,” said Chief Magaw. “It shows that when we come together as a team, no one is above the law. This conviction is a victory for the community and law enforcement alike."
In announcing the jury’s verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen, Special Agent in Charge Cooper-Davis, and Chief Magaw commended the actions of the DEA Special Agents, Analysts and former Forensic Chemist who worked on the case. They also praised the work of those who investigated the case for the Prince George’s County Police Department, including Homicide Detective Bernard Nelson, who led the investigative team; Detective Jeffery Eckrich; Retired Detective Ben Hollowell; Officers William Reed, Jeremy Webb, Todd Santos, and Richard “Rick” Lanning; Firearm Examiners Scott McVeigh; DNA Forensic Chemist Jessica Charak, and Crime Scene Specialist Brian Grempler. They also thanked FBI Special Agent Scott Eicher, as well as Dr. Theodore King, of the State of Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, for the assistance they provided.
They praised the work of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including former Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Gallun; Litigation Support Unit members Kimberly Smith, Joseph Calvarese, and Leif Hickling; Legal Assistant Tammy Scott and Diane Brashears; Paralegals Regan Gibson and Candace Battle; Victim Witness Security Specialists M. Laverne Forrest, Dawn Tolson-Hightower, and Yvonne Bryant, and Intelligence Specialist Sharon Johnson, and former Legal Intern Eli Berman. They also thanked Michael T. Ambrosino, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation, who assisted with the DNA portion of the case.