FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
NOVEMBER 20, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE MEN CHARGED WITH THANKSGIVING 2006 MURDER OF FEDERAL WITNESS JOHN DOWERY
Six Alleged Members of Baltimore “Special” Drug Gang Indicted for Total of Five Murders
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging that Melvin Gilbert together with co-defendant Darron Goods, a/k/a “Moo-man,” age 21, of Baltimore, shot and killed John Dowery last Thanksgiving to prevent Dowery’s cooperation in the federal investigation of “Special,” a Baltimore drug gang, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Gilbert and three other defendants previously had been indicted on federal charges for participating in the drug conspiracy and murdering three victims. The murder of Dowery and one other new victim identified in the superseding indictment raises the number of murders allegedly committed by “Special” to a total of five. The indictment was returned on November 13, 2007 and unsealed today.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “Anyone who intimidates, attacks or kills a witness moves to the top of our list. After John Dowery was murdered in cold blood last Thanksgiving, we pledged to work tirelessly to identify the killers and bring them to justice. An intensive investigation has resulted in an indictment, charging that Melvin Gilbert and Darron Goods murdered Mr. Dowery to prevent him from cooperating in a federal drug investigation. John Dowery is one of five victims allegedly murdered by a violent drug gang that must not be permitted to kill again.”
“I am very grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and to our federal partners at the FBI, for their efforts and the countless hours that all the investigators invested in this case that led to today’s indictment. This level of collaboration should not go unnoticed considering the importance of the many issues that prosecutors and law enforcement face every day in Baltimore,” said Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy.
Special Agent in Charge (SAC) William D. Chase, of the Baltimore Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stated “Witness intimidation will not be tolerated. The FBI Safe Streets Task Force, along with our many partners, are committed to ending violence towards the brave citizens who come forward to help put violent criminals in jail. I would personally like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office, the Safe Streets Task Force and Baltimore City Homicide for leading this investigation, along with DEA, ATF, and the Baltimore City Organized Crime Division who have provided invaluable assistance.”
The indictment unsealed today alleges that Gilbert, age 33, of Baltimore, and Goods knew that John Dowery was cooperating with law enforcement authorities in the federal investigation and prosecution of members of their drug distribution conspiracy. They shot and killed John Dowery on November 23, 2006 to prevent Dowery from testifying and providing information to federal law enforcement about drug trafficking by the members of “Special.”
The indictment also includes new charges against co-defendant Tamall Parker, who allegedly shot and killed Kevin Harper on September 14, 2003. Gilbert allegedly assisted Parker by disposing of evidence relating to Harper’s murder.
Allegations included in the earlier indictment and repeated in the indictment returned today charge that from June 2002 to February 2007, Gilbert operated a drug distribution organization known as “Special” that sold heroin, cocaine and marijuana on the streets of Baltimore. Co-defendants Tracy Love, age 23, of Baltimore; James Dinkins, age 35, of Baltimore; Tamall Parker, age 21, of Essex; Cornell Booker, age 24, of Baltimore; and Randy McLean, Jr., age 31, of Nottingham, Maryland distributed narcotics to customers, collected drug proceeds, re-supplied and guarded the street inventory, operated as lookouts, and banded together against threats from drug traffickers from other neighborhoods. The defendants used locations in Baltimore City to package and store the drugs, including residences on Cokesbury Avenue, Bartlett Avenue, Loch Raven Road, Greenmount Avenue and Homewood Avenue.
The indictment further alleges that the defendants committed acts of violence to protect the drug organization and retaliate against and intimidate potential witnesses who interfered with drug operations. For example, Gilbert suspected that Shannon Jemmison was cooperating with law enforcement authorities in the federal investigation and prosecution of Howard Rice and Raeshio Rice, who were charged in February 2005 with violations of federal racketeering and narcotics laws. The indictment alleges that Gilbert directed Dinkins to kill Jemmison to prevent Jemmison from cooperating in the Rice prosecution. Jemmison was shot and killed on September 10, 2005.
The indictment also alleges charges against Dinkins for the November 10, 2005 shooting death of Michael Bryant and the shooting of John Dowery on October 19, 2005. Dowery survived the October 19th shooting. The indictment re-alleges charges against Love and Parker for the October 13, 2004 shooting death of James Wise.
All of the defendants face a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison for the drug distribution conspiracy and life in prison for possession or use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Love, Parker Gilbert, Dinkins and Goods face a maximum sentence of death or life in prison for use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime resulting in death. Love, Parker, Gilbert and McLean face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for distributing drugs.
Gilbert and Dinkins face a maximum sentence of death or life in prison for witness tampering in connection with the death of Shannon Jemmison; and Gilbert and Goods face a maximum sentence of death or life in prison for witness tampering in connection with the death of John Dowery. The defendants remain detained.
Booker pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and was sentenced yesterday to 66 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz.
The decision whether to seek the death penalty is made by the Attorney General of the United States after carefully considering the defendant’s background and the circumstances of the crime.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and Assistant State’s Attorneys Antonio Gioia and Lisa Goldberg, the Baltimore Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Debra Dwyer and Stephanie Gallagher, who are prosecuting the case.