BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh and Maryland State Police Colonel Woodrow W. “Jerry” Jones, III on Thursday announced the indictments of 19 defendants for multiple charges, including participation in a criminal gang and conspiracy to distribute narcotics, as well as multiple drug kingpin, possession of a large volume of narcotics, and firearms-related counts.
The investigation was led by the Maryland State Police, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office. The collaboration between the agencies responsible for investigating and prosecuting this case was a result of the federal Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force initiative, a partnership among federal, state, and local law enforcement. This case was assigned to the Strike Force Group 7, which is led by the Maryland State Police. The Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force team is designed to target violent gangs and drug trafficking organizations. The indictments announced on Thursday are the team’s first case brought under the new initiative.
The investigation revealed that the members of the criminal enterprise sold fentanyl and heroin primarily throughout Baltimore City. The alleged leader, Xavier Johnson, would direct members and associates to rent apartments in downtown Baltimore that served as the enterprise’s drug stash locations. High-ranking members of the enterprise would manage these stash locations and transport vast amounts of narcotics to the street-level dealers within the enterprise’s territory. Johnson and other members of the enterprise utilized their social media accounts to broadcast, promote, and advertise their criminal activity. Johnson used his internet persona of “Lor X – The South Baltimore Godfather” to promote both his music career and the enterprise’s drug trafficking operations.
During this long-term investigation, law enforcement recovered nearly 9 kilograms of fentanyl and other narcotics and multiple firearms through the use of undercover buys and search warrants. Almost all of the seized drugs were determined to be fentanyl, or a mixture containing fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin or morphine.
“Our indictments state that this organization was supplying large amounts of deadly drugs throughout the Baltimore Metropolitan Area,” said Attorney General Frosh. “In fact, the Strike Force team seized enough fentanyl to kill 4 million people. Working with our federal, state, and local partners, we make communities across our state safer.”
“The dismantling of this drug trafficking organization is significant because dedicated police officers and prosecutors have, through an extensive investigation, identified and charged an entire network of individuals we believe were supplying hundreds of people in the Baltimore region with heroin, fentanyl, and other drugs,” said Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Woodrow W. Jones, III. “I appreciate the cooperation and support of our federal, state, and local partners whose deputies, officers, agents, troopers, and prosecutors worked together in often dangerous circumstances to bring these suspects to justice and to positively impact the safety of the citizens of Baltimore and beyond.”
“These armed gang members showed little regard for life, selling deadly drugs in our city,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Defendant Johnson infiltrated downtown Baltimore as part of his massive drug-trafficking operation. We and our partners are determined together to pursue and bring to justice those responsible for deadly drugs and violence on our streets.”
“This investigation serves as a great example of the collective and decisive work our federal, state, and local partners are undertaking to impact drug-related violent crime and ensure public safety for our Baltimore neighborhoods,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Baltimore District Office Orville Greene. “Incredible cases such as this are an example of how our collaborative efforts within the Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force are working.
“I want to recognize the professional commitment of our sheriff patrols, and their steadfast calm when entering dangerous places,” said Baltimore City Sheriff John W. Anderson. “We appreciate the collaboration with our law enforcement partners in maximizing a successful investigative outcome, and bringing the named defendants to justice in this case. Ultimately, the work done here contributes to a safer, healthier city for the people of the greater Baltimore community.”
Travis Boyette, Baltimore
Curtis Carolina, Baltimore
Antoine Ceasar, Baltimore
Kevin Elliott, Baltimore
Tyree Holmes, Baltimore
Xavier Johnson, Baltimore
Donte Jones, Baltimore
Terry Jones, Baltimore
Tyrone Jones, Baltimore
Crystal Kirby, Baltimore
Donte Lewis, Baltimore
Tavon Lunsford, Baltimore
Jamontaz Mitchell, Baltimore
Isaiah Moore, Baltimore
Aleycha Owens, Baltimore
Kennard Rice, Baltimore
Donya Short, Rosedale
Anthony Smith, Baltimore
Darryl Still, Baltimore
A criminal indictment is merely an accusation of wrongdoing, and a defendant is presumed innocent until the State proves the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.