Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel sentenced Demar A. Brown, age 38, of Paterson, New Jersey and Winston-Salem, North Carolina to 10 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy and for transportation of stolen property, taken during a series of burglaries committed in Maryland and Georgia. Brown was convicted by a federal jury on September 16, 2021, after a 10-day trial for his role in the series of home burglaries.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to the evidence presented at the trial, from November 29, 2017, through January 26, 2018, Brown, and co-defendants Jashon Fields and Kamar Beckles participated in a series of break-ins at residences in Baltimore County, Maryland and Milton, Georgia, in order to steal property, including: cash; foreign currency; safes; jewelry; designer purses, bags, and clothing; personal electronics; collectibles; personal identity documents; and items of sentimental value, such as historical medals, rare coins, and other memorabilia. The defendants intended to sell the stolen property out-of-state for cash.
Witnesses at trial testified that the defendants wore masks and gloves during the break-ins and communicated with each other using two-way radios and mobile phones. One of the conspirators often remained in the getaway car while the other conspirators committed the burglaries. Brown, Fields, and Beckles rented hotel rooms in Maryland where they would store the proceeds of the burglaries they committed (until the property and proceeds were transported out of state). Brown and Beckles transported the stolen property outside Maryland, including to two residences to which Brown had access in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
As detailed during the trial, on January 26, 2018, the defendants were arrested near two residences that had recently been burglarized. Brown was arrested after officers responding to the burglary noticed a dark green Ford Explorer with North Carolina tags traveling slowly down the street. The vehicle was identical to a suspect vehicle seen in surveillance footage from some of the earlier burglaries. An officer pulled in behind the vehicle and, after a short vehicle chase, Brown was eventually arrested after trying to flee from the SUV.
Beckles and Fields were arrested in a nearby wooded area, about a half mile from one of the burglarized homes. At the time of his arrest, Beckles was wearing a distinct jacket with a reflective emblem on the back – identical in appearance to the insignia visible in surveillance footage from some of the earlier burglaries. Additional responding officers were able to view through the vehicle’s windows a safe matching the description of a safe stolen during the robbery, along with what appeared to be bags of other property stolen that evening and over $2500 in loose change – later determined to have been stolen from a home in Milton, Georgia.
A search of each defendant resulted in the discovery of hotel key cards, a breakfast ticket from the same hotel as the key cards, as well as $1,000 that one defendant possessed in his sock.
Search warrants executed on the two hotel rooms resulted in the recovery of jewelry stolen from a residence, property from homes burglarized in Milton, Georgia, as well as property from homes burglarized in Baltimore County on December 29, 2017, January 9, 2018, and January 10, 2018. Law enforcement also recovered a mask, a pair of gloves, a diamond tester, a scale, and a gold testing kit. In the second room, they located, among other things, Fields’ license, mail in the name of Beckles, and various phones.
On January 27, 2018, after obtaining a search warrant, law enforcement searched the Ford Explorer driven by Brown the previous day. They discovered, among other things, various tools and clothing for use in connection with burglaries, including a pry bar, a drill and hole saw, a mallet, three chisels, a reciprocating saw, multiple pairs of gloves, black knit hats, a balaclava style mask, two-way radios, and flashlights.
Law enforcement officers searching the vehicle also discovered many of the pieces of property stolen during two burglaries the previous day, as well as notes concerning a pawn shop and a jewelry shop in North Carolina.
On January 30, 2018, law enforcement obtained search and seizure warrants for Brown’s residences in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There they located property from three earlier burglaries in Baltimore County—including numerous pieces of fine jewelry. Additionally, evidence on the nine phones seized from the defendants, the SUV, and the defendants’ hotel rooms showed, among other things, Brown and Beckles photographing many pieces of the jewelry and other items taken during some of the burglaries.
In total, 21 homes were burglarized in connection with the conspiracy, and the victims reported that $850,000 worth of property was stolen. Only some of that stolen property has been recovered and returned to its owners; for a few victims, most of their property has yet to be recovered.
Co-defendants Jashon C. Fields, age 37, of Atlanta, Georgia, and Kamar O. Beckles, age 36, of Teaneck, New Jersey were previously sentenced to five years in federal prison and 76 months in federal prison, respectively.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul A. Riley and Christopher M. Rigali, who prosecuted the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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