For the second time in a week, federal authorities are praising Baltimore County police for providing information that spawned a broader indictment against a violent criminal organization operating in Maryland and other states.
The latest case, unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court, charges six people — none of them from Maryland — with taking part in a large-scale racketeering conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana from Jamaica to New Jersey.
Authorities say the organization was also responsible for the kidnapping and killing of a 50-year-old Woodlawn man in late 2009.
The indictment alleges that three Jamaicans — a woman named Jean Brown, 42, and two men, Hubert Downer, 51, and Dean Myrie — kidnapped and murdered Michael Paul Knight "for the purpose of gaining entrance and maintaining and increasing their positions in the Brown [drug] Organization." The indictment says that Knight was killed "in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner in that it involved torture or serious physical abuse to the victim."
According to documents filed in court last year and reported by the City Paper, Knight went missing on Dec. 19, 2009, after leaving his Woodlawn home. Baltimore County police wrote he had been holding one million dollars for Brown, a portion of which went missing. The documents say Knight was beaten, tied up and dismembered at a Rossville apartment complex with a "power-type saw," and his remains have never been found.
Brown has been incarcerated since last year after being charged with trying to smuggle $560,000 from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to Jamaica. As authorities continued to build a larger case, she pleaded guilty to the smuggling charge and received 37 months in federal prison, records show.
The father of Brown's child, meanwhile, who was said to have been involved in Knight's killing, was murdered months later in Tijuana, Mexico, police wrote in the documents.
It's the second indictment in a week in which federal authorities praise Baltimore County detectives for bringing forward a case that prompted a bigger investigation.
William Winter, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations in Baltimore, said in a news release that the investigation was "greatly enhanced by the assistance and the expertise of the Baltimore County Police Department['s] Homicide Division who uncovered and solved the murder of a member of the Brown criminal organization."
Last week, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised Baltimore County officials for approaching them about a killing that they said was linked to the Dead Man Inc. prison gang. Rosenstein said that conversation led to an investigation that culminated last week with the indictment of 22 reputed DMI members.
The indictment also charges three other people — Dmytro Holovko, 53, of Hillside, N.J., Jason Carnegie, 41, of Lauderhill, Fla., and Anthony Hendrickson, 71, of Gardena, Calif. — with being part of a conspiracy to distribute and possess at least 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. All have been detained except for Myrie, who goes by the nickname "Journey."
Anyone with information about Myrie's whereabouts was asked to call ICE at 1-866-DHS-2ICE, or 802-872-6199 if calling from outside the United States.