Three Convicted in the Thanksgiving 2006 Murder of Federal Witness John Dowery and Two Others
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal jury today convicted Melvin Gilbert, age 34 and Darron Goods, a/k/a “Moo-man,” age 23, both of Baltimore, for the murder of federal witness John Dowery, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Gilbert and James Dinkins, a/k/a “Miami,” age 36, of Baltimore, were also found guilty of the murder of Shannon Jemmison. The jury also convicted James Dinkins of the murder of Michael Bryant and a non-fatal shooting of John Dowery on October 19, 2005. All three men were convicted of conspiracy to distribute drugs and related gun charges.
According to testimony at the five week trial, 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. The evidence showed 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, witnesses testified at trial that Gilbert knew that John Dowery was cooperating with law enforcement authorities in the federal investigation and prosecution of members of their drug distribution conspiracy. Gilbert and Goods 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.” Witnesses also testified that 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. Testimony showed 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. Witnesses testified that on November 10, 2005, Dinkins also shot and killed Michael Bryant over a gun dispute related to the “Special” organization.
U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein announced that law enforcement officials will decline to comment on the verdict at this time because the jury still must decide whether Gilbert and Dinkins should be sentenced to death for these crimes - otherwise, they each face a mandatory life sentence. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz instructed the jurors to return to court on June 16, 2009 when the penalty phase of the trial will begin. Darron Goods will not be involved in the penalty phase - he, too faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Judge Motz has not scheduled a date for Goods’ sentencing.
Co-defendants Tracy Love, a/k/a “Boo Boo,” age 24 and Tamall Parker, a/k/a “Mo-Mo,” age 22, both of Essex, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and use of a of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime resulting in death. They face a maximum penalty of life in prison on the murder charge and a minimum mandatory sentence of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison on the drug conspiracy charge. Randy McLean, Jr., a/k/a “Blade,” age 31, of Nottingham, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy and faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. All three are awaiting sentencing. Cornell Booker, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and was sentenced on November 20, 2007 to 66 months in prison.
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 Kwame J. Manley, who are prosecuting the case.