News

Leader in Marijuana Distribution Organization Convicted on Racketeering Charges


Charges Include Kidnapping and Murder in Aid of Racketeering

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2013

Baltimore, Maryland - A federal jury today convicted Jean Brown, age 43, of Jamaica in connection with a conspiracy to distribute marijuana as one of the leaders of the Brown Organization, a criminal organization whose members distributed narcotics primarily in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona and Jamaica. Co-defendant Gabriel Campa-Mayen, age 45, of Tijuana, Mexico, was acquitted of all charges.

The guilty verdict was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Larry W. Tolliver, Sr.

“Today’s conviction of Jean Brown for drug conspiracy and kidnapping and murder in aid of racketeering is a victory for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, who since 2009 have been investigating the Jean Brown drug trafficking organization, which spanned five states and two countries. HSI special agents have seized approximately 100 pounds of marijuana, $853,000 in cash and bank accounts and six firearms from these co-conspirators that used intimidation and violence to further their criminal activities,” said William Winter, special agent in charge for ICE HSI Baltimore. “HSI will continue working with our law enforcement partners to investigate and ultimately dismantle criminal organizations that are wreaking violence in our communities through the illicit drug trade.”

According to evidence presented at their seven-day trial, Jean Brown and Carl Smith were the leaders of a drug organization that obtained marijuana in Arizona and California and used trucking companies that Brown owned and operated to transport the marijuana to Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York on a monthly basis. The evidence showed that they transported as much as 1,000 pounds of marijuana per month from 2000 until Brown’s arrest in 2010.

Brown employed drivers to drive the trucks, arranged for the distribution of the marijuana on the East Coast – principally in Baltimore and Pittsburgh, used couriers to smuggle the drug proceeds to Jamaica, and sent cash back to the Southwest to pay for the next load.

Witnesses testified that on December 16, 2009, Brown, Smith and co-defendants Peter Blake, Hubert Downer and Dean Myrie kidnapped Michael Knight, one of Brown’s money couriers. According to trial testimony, Knight was holding $1 million for the organization, but when the money was collected $250,000 was missing. Myrie drove Brown and Knight, who was bound with a telephone cable, and other members of the organization to an apartment in White Marsh, Maryland, where Brown and others interrogated Knight. After Knight was not able to provide the location of the money, Brown ordered Downer and Blake to kill Knight. Knight was stabbed to death in the bathtub. Over the next few days Brown, Myrie, Downer and Blake dismembered Knight and disposed of his body in dumpsters in the Loch Raven and Liberty Road areas of Baltimore County.

In addition to the murder of Knight, the evidence showed that after threatening Smith on several occasions, in April 2010, Brown offered to pay Campa-Mayen and Leo Alvarez Tostado-Gastellium to murder Smith in Tijuana, Mexico. Witnesses testified that Tostado-Gastellium killed Smith, shooting him in the head. Brown also assaulted a former partner in the drug organization with a baseball bat and a woman and her infant child with boiling water and a with a knife.

Brown faces a maximum of life in prison for the drug conspiracy, for kidnapping in aid of racketeering, and for murder in aid of racketeering; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering.

Hubert Downer, a/k/a “Doc” and “Michael Reid,” age 51, of Jamaica; Dean Myrie, a/k/a “Journey,” age 39, of Jamaica; and Peter Blake, age 55, of Jamaica have all pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing. Leo Alvarez Tostado-Gastellium, a/k/a “Superman,” is a fugitive.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised HSI Baltimore, the Baltimore County Police Department Homicide/Missing Persons Unit, and the Anne Arundel County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Stefan D. Cassella and Peter M. Nothstein, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.


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