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Press Release

Eight Indicted In Connection With A Drug Organization Allegedly Operating In Annapolis And Other Areas Of Anne Arundel County

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

                                    22 Additional Defendants Charged in State Court on Drug Trafficking Charges

Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted eight individuals on charges related to the investigation of a drug distribution organization in Annapolis and other areas of Anne Arundel County since at least January 2012. The indictments were returned on June 11, 2013, and unsealed today upon the arrest of the defendants.

ATF led at least 100 law enforcement officers who executed federal search warrants at 10 locations and seven vehicles today, including residences and vehicles belonging to some of the defendants. As part of this investigation, law enforcement also executed arrest warrants today against 22 additional defendants charged in state court in Anne Arundel County with various drug trafficking offenses.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Steven L. Gerido of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Annapolis Police Chief Michael A. Pristoop; Anne Arundel County Police Acting Chief Lt. Colonel Pamela R. Davis; Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department; and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne C. Leitess.

Special Agent in Charge Steven L. Gerido of the ATF - Baltimore Field Division. “I am confident that the execution of multiple arrest and search warrants by ATF and its law enforcement partners has made a significant impact on crime in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and specifically the city of Annapolis. ATF continues to work with its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in order to bring violent criminals to justice.”

Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop said, “We, as a police department and a community, will not tolerate the illegal sale of drugs or guns within our City. This investigation, the indictments, and the service of the arrest warrants is another outstanding example of partners working together to reduce crime in Annapolis. Removing these offenders from our streets was a top priority and certainly a step on the right direction.”

“I want to thank all of the agencies involved for their partnerships and collaborations to bring this case to closure,” said Anne Arundel County Acting Chief of Police Lieutenant Colonel Pamela R. Davis.

“A disproportionate amount of violent crimes with a connection to illegal drugs is often committed by a small percentage of individuals. The community can immediately take solace in knowing that these individuals have been removed from their neighborhoods.”

The following defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin and crack cocaine:

Ernest Lee Harmon, a/k/a “E” and “Memphis,” age 36, of Baltimore;
Dontaye Lee Harmon, a/k/a “Taye,” age 39, of Baltimore;
Damian Leron Brown, a/k/a “D,” “DB,” and “DBrown,” age 37, of Annapolis; and
Jessica Knode, age 27, of Crofton, Maryland.

Two defendants charged in this indictment are still being sought and their names have not been unsealed.

Ernest Lee Harmon and Dontaye Lee Harmon are also charged with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Ernest Lee Harmon and Damian Leron Brown are charged with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute heroin.

The defendants face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for the drug conspiracy. Dontaye Lee Harmon and Damian Brown also face a maximum of 20 years in prison for distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine or heroin. Ernest Lee Harmon, faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison for distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and heroin.

In related indictments, Corrie Flannigan, a/k/a “Flame,” age 19, of Annapolis is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon; and Jimolo Coates, a/k/a “Marlow,” age 20, also of Annapolis is charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon.

Flannigan and Coates each face a maximum of 10 years in prison for possession of a firearm and/or ammunition by a previously convicted felon.

All of the defendants are expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore today.

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 ATF, the Annapolis Police Department, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Baltimore Police Department and the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Kenneth S. Clark, Scott Lemmon, and Joshua Kaul, who are prosecuting the case.

Updated January 26, 2015