BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown on Wednesday announced the indictments of six defendants for their participation in an interstate cocaine trafficking conspiracy that resulted in the seizure of 15 kilograms of cocaine, 400 grams of crack cocaine, 10 firearms including two assault-style rifles and a fully automatic Glock 30 handgun, and over $493,000 of narcotics proceeds.
The investigation, which was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Group 51 with assistance from the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Unit, revealed that at least as early as July 2022 through October 2022, Latrava Kinney, 39; Lawrence Nauls, 45; and Jayson Rhodes, 49, of Houston, Texas were serving as narcotics and money couriers for a national drug trafficking organization, working in tandem to traffic multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from Texas to Baltimore County.
Investigators witnessed Kinney, Nauls, and Rhodes make regular trips from Houston to Baltimore where they would then offload large quantities of narcotics into a safehouse that was being maintained by the organization. The narcotics were then picked up by local distributors Medford Smith, 42 and Sherrod Stokes, 43, of Baltimore before being transported to new locations where they were broken down for street-level distribution across Baltimore County.
As a result of the ongoing narcotic trafficking, detectives executed search and seizure warrants at multiple stash locations and on vehicles used by the drug trafficking organization, recovering firearms, drugs, and the proceeds from drug sales. Additionally, detectives recovered a heat sealer, face masks, rubber gloves, a kilogram press, digital scales, kilogram wrappers, and a money counter from stash locations believed to be used for repackaging the bulk narcotics for street-level distribution.
Kinney, Lawrence, and Rhodes have each been charged with Conspiracy, Participation in a Criminal Organization, Volume Dealer, Distribution of Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute, Use of Firearms in a Drug Trafficking Crime, Drug Proceeds, and related charges.
Smith, who received over seven kilograms of the cocaine and maintained a local Baltimore County safehouse, has been charged with Conspiracy, Supervising a Criminal Organization, Drug Kingpin, Volume Dealer, Possession of a Machine Gun for an Aggressive Purpose, Possession of an Assault Weapon, Use of Firearms in a Drug Trafficking Crime, and related charges.
Stokes, as well as Maurice Farmer, 47, of Baltimore, have been charged with Participation in a Criminal Organization, Volume Dealer, Possession with the Intent to Distribute, and related charges.
“The flow of narcotics and firearms into our communities must stop,” said Attorney General Brown. “Disrupting this large-scale, interstate drug trafficking ring is a tremendous step toward restoring peace and public safety, and I thank our partners in this case and applaud their hard work in obtaining these criminal indictments.”
“Illegal drug distribution affects the very foundation of our families and communities so every time we take cocaine and firearms off the street, lives are saved,” states Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget, of the Washington Division Office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). “I’m grateful for the hard work of the DEA teams, Maryland Attorney General’s Office, and our law enforcement partners, with whom we were able to execute these arrests and seize illegal drugs and firearms from this violent drug trafficking organization.”
“The Baltimore County Police Department is proud to work alongside our federal partners to dismantle illegal trafficking operations like this and ensure our communities remain safe,” said Baltimore County Interim Police Chief Dennis Delp.
The defendants’ cases will be prosecuted in Baltimore County.