Ten Indicted in Cocaine Conspiracy Allegedly Operating in the 4x4 Neighborhood of Northeast Baltimore
Five Additional Defendants Charged in State Court on Drug Trafficking Charges
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted 10 individuals on charges related to the operation of a drug distribution organization in the “4x4" neighborhood of Baltimore from at least June 2009 through August 2010. The indictment was returned on September 2, 2010 and unsealed today upon the arrest of the defendants. ATF led at least 150 law enforcement officers who executed federal search warrants at eight locations today, including residences and vehicles belonging to some of the defendants. As part of this investigation, law enforcement also executed arrest warrants today against five additional defendants charged in state court in Baltimore City with various drug trafficking offenses and executed state search warrants at two locations.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III of the Baltimore City Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy.
“Wherever criminal gangs bring violence to our streets, that is where we will direct the resources needed to send them to prison,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “We must persist in this coordinated effort, because every American deserves to live in a safe neighborhood.”
“Today’s operation was an immeasurable success for the city of Baltimore,” says ATF Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop. “ATF and the Baltimore Police Department infiltrated a neighborhood that was guarded by violent criminals, and plagued by drug traffickers. But even with those challenges, we were able to build a solid investigation leading to the charges that were unsealed today.”
“This successful long term joint investigation has exposed a clandestine drug operation that attempted to seize control of an entire neighborhood that straddled two police districts,” said State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy. “This operation demonstrates the strength of our local, state and federal partnership and coordination.”
The following defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute crack and powder cocaine:
Dearius Forrester, a/k/a “D,” “Little D,” “Muffler” and “Chicken,” age 22, of Rosedale;
Tony Robinson, a/k/a “Peterman” and “Pete,” age 37, of Baltimore;
Darian Hilliard, a/k/a “Dougie” and “Ace,” age 22, of Baltimore;
Raymond Moore, a/k/a “Money,” age 20, of Baltimore;
Larry Carlos, a/k/a “Lurch,” age 22, of Baltimore;
Jenon Forrester, a/k/a “Nonny,” age 19, of Baltimore;
Shaun Hopkins, a/k/a “Gucci,” age 20, of Baltimore;
Latreece Smith, a/k/a “Treece,” age 21, of Rosedale;
St. Matthew Troy Evans, Jr., a/k/a “Bird” and “Corey,” age 22, of Baltimore; and
Byron Williams, a/k/a “Gerald” and “Fishy,” age 18, of Baltimore.
In addition, Hilliard, Moore, Carlos and Evans are charged with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
According to the 17 count indictment and other court documents, the drug distribution organization was headed by Dearius Forrester and operated by the other defendants in the Northeast Baltimore neighborhood known as the “4x4." The “4x4” is a small, relatively closed neighborhood consisting of four streets running north-south and four streets running east-west. Ravenwood, Elmora, Lyndale and Elmley Avenues all run east and west and are one-way streets. Greenview, St. Cloud, Highview and Longview Avenues all run north and south and are two-way streets. The area is bordered on the east and west ends by Edison Highway and Belair Road, respectively. During the course of the investigation, court documents allege that the defendants conducted drug transactions in the 4x4 neighborhood near the homes of conspirators and their family members in the 3200 block of Lyndale Avenue, and stored drugs and guns in and around the homes.
The defendants all face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for the drug conspiracy. Hilliard also faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison for distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and Moore, Carlos and Evans face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the same charge. The defendants are scheduled to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore today beginning at 2:00 p.m. Defendant Tony Robinson has not been arrested and is considered a fugitive.
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.
Mr. Rosenstein thanked the Baltimore County Police Department for their assistance in executing the search and arrest warrants this morning.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein also thanked ATF’s Violent Crime Impact Team, Baltimore City Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Bryan Giblin and Special Assistant United States Attorney Traci L. Robinson, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney, who are prosecuting the case.