FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
May 12, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TWO DEFENDANTS CHARGED IN HOME INVASION ROBBERY UNCOVERED BY “OPERATION DIAL-A-CELL”
Additional Prosecutions Expected to Result from “Novel, Bold and Creative” Undercover Investigation
Baltimore, Maryland – Kevin Dorsey, age 26, and Rodney Lockett, age 25, both of Baltimore, were charged by criminal complaint today with committing an armed home invasion robbery in which two victims were shot, one of whom died, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. The affidavit filed with the criminal complaint reveals that evidence of the crime was gathered through a modified cellular telephone that law enforcement officials gave to an inmate in the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center in Baltimore. The cell phone was used to record telephone conversations and also as a listening device to record conversations held in the vicinity of the phone.
“I am grateful to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for supporting this novel, bold and creative undercover investigation, in which law enforcement officials gave a cell phone to an inmate in a Baltimore jail and recorded conversations made on and around the phone,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “We expect other charges to result from the many conversations recorded during ‘Operation Dial-a-Cell.’”
“Technology trumps crime,” says ATF Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop. “ATF’s Violent Crime Impact Team has reversed the tables on these violent offenders by using the same tools of the trade against them as they use to carry out their crimes.”
“The evidence gathered through this operation is indicative of the Division of Correction’s increasingly more proactive partnerships with local, state and federal law enforcement,” said Secretary Gary D. Maynard of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. “Coupled with our increasing intelligence gathering capabilities, these efforts are paying off. Today’s announcement and recent guilty pleas by members and associates of the Black Guerilla Family should serve notice to others that committing crime in our institutions will not be tolerated.”
According to the affidavit, during the course of this undercover operation, an inmate used the cellphone to conduct conversations with violent offenders regarding firearms, drug-trafficking, acts of violence, and other criminal offenses. Based on the use of the cellphone, law enforcement officers were able to obtain accurate, often real-time information about the whereabouts and criminal activities of other violent offenders, including several who were suspects in shootings and murders. The inmate also used the cellphone to have recorded conversations with violent offenders on the street about crimes they had committed. The inmate also engaged in, and was sometimes able to record, conversations with other inmates at MCAC regarding efforts by those inmates to intimidate or retaliate against witnesses. Based on the conversations and other evidence developed through the use of this cellphone, at least five violent offenders who were collectively responsible for at least 12 murders or shootings were arrested on federal or state drug or gun charges in a matter of weeks.
The complaint alleges a conspiracy to commit a robbery affecting interstate commerce and possession and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of that robbery. The evidence developed during this operation regarding the Chauncey Avenue robbery and shootings has been forwarded to local authorities for further investigation.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the robbery conspiracy charge and a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine for the firearm charge.
A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Baltimore Police Department and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for their investigative work and expressed his appreciation to the U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Jason Weinstein, who led the undercover investigation and Assistant United States Attorneys Debra Dwyer and Tonya Kelly Kowitz and Special Assistant United States Attorney Traci Robinson, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to EXILE cases, who are prosecuting the case.