Minimum of 15 people has been arrested in the Anne Arundel County on accounts of conspiracy and gang participation charges for their alleged individual roles in supporting a criminal enterprise. The criminal enterprise had dealt with drug trafficking alongside sex trafficking where the trafficked women were sent out of Brooklyn Park hotels, as stated by the prosecutors.
As per the indictment that handed up last month, it was learnt that the sex trafficking gang primarily operated out of the Brooklyn Park hotels. At the same time, the members travelled around in the Northern and the Western Anne Arundel County along with the parts of the Baltimore and Baltimore County. The primary cause of the travel was for the distribution of drugs or to buy drugs that included fentanyl, heroin, MDMA, cocaine, oxycodone, methamphetamine (meth) and marijuana.
It has also been brought in to notice that the gang has set up camps for the extended period at the Suites on Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard and the Comfort Inn, where it developed close ties with the staff members, who would later tip of the leader of the gang when they sniff the arrival of law enforcement or rival gang members on their property, confirmed the prosecutors. He has also written that the criminal activities the gang was involved in (drug and sex trafficking) had spanned from the starting of December till the mid-July.
As the information goes, the gang’s leader was David Tico Brown of the Brooklyn Park, that the prosecutors had referred to as the “Enterprise” in the court papers. The indictment states that it had built a power structure including few high-ranking members. The indictment further covers that the 44-years-old accused had insulated himself and he rarely left his room at whichever hotel the sex trafficking gang was working out.
The lower-ranking members of the gang brought the accused food and groceries. The members were asked to serve drugs to the new customers while the customers were forced to take in front of them for proving that they were not cops. The accused had also surrounded himself with the members both inside and outside of the hotel for deflecting the liability in case they were searched or pulled over.
Brown received 31 offense charges that included organizing, supervising and financing a gang, serving to be a drug kingpin, a large number of drugs dispense and forced sex trafficking, as shown by the court records. The jail records state that he is being held at the Jennifer Road Detention Center without bond. Brown’s attorney, Stephen R. Tully, said that he had been retained recently and initiating his investigation case.
The indictment revealed that Michael Anthony Copeland, of Glen Burnie, was one of the top deputies of Brown. Similar to what Brown did, the 41-year-old was often leaving the hotels for stocking up on the drugs from the suppliers, and sometimes he dealt with drugs himself. After Copeland had gathered a massive load of drugs, the prosecutors stated that he often visited Brown’s hotel or his for the purpose of cooking or repackaging the drugs.
The prosecutors revealed that Brown and Copeland had personally overseen the sex trafficking part of their business. The men duo had forced women for meeting with their “dates” and also monitored how many dates they visited. They used to arrange the hotel rooms and travel for the women, monitored their advertisements and controlled their money. The prosecutors have written that both Brown and Copeland used to give drugs to the women before or after their dates.
The accused Copeland has been charged with 23 counts that included participation in a criminal gang, serving a drug kingpin, a large number of drug distribution and forcing for sex trafficking, as stated by the online court records. He is now being held without the bond at the Jennifer Road Detention Center, as shown by the jail records.
William Davis, the Anne Arundel County Public Defender, has been listed as Copeland’s attorney in the court records. He said that he had assigned the Copeland case to another public defender in his office while the office had declined for any comments. A spokesperson said that The Maryland Office of the Attorney General is prosecuting the case currently additionally to the county State’s Attorney’s Office.
“The attorney general has the authority to prosecute these large scale, multi jurisdictional organized crime cases, in this case specifically under the gang statute,” Raquel Coombs, spokeswoman for the attorney general, said in a statement.
As per the online court records, the narcotics detectives of the Anne Arundel County narcotics detectives were involved in the investigation. This investigation has led to the indictments of a couple more. The following people have been charged with the conspiracy in a criminal enterprise, distribution of drugs or the conspiracy to distribute narcotics and participating in the criminal gang.
- Andrew Lee Tillman, 36, of Rosedale
- Antoine Crockett, 39, of Baltimore
- Antoine Folkes, 51, of Pasadena
- Charles Masr Edwards Jr., 54, of Baltimore
- Derrick Rodney Ricks, 28, of Brooklyn
- John Patrick Hines, 45, of Halethorpe
- Justin Michael Jess, 28, of Delaware
- Laron Ontario Matthews, 44, of Baltimore
- Lawrence Oliver Jones, 35, of Brooklyn
- Michael Jason Rebstock, 47, of Brooklyn
- Troy Wayne Dunnigan, 24, of Glen Burnie
- Vernon Ralph Harris, 50, of Reisterstown
- William Henry Shipley Jr., 28, of Baltimore
Shipley’s attorney, Jennifer Alexander, said he is “presumed innocent and he’s looking forward to demonstrating his innocence in the courtroom.”
No lawyers were listed for Dunnigan, Hines, Jones, Rebstock and Ricks. The attorneys who are representing the other men had either chose not to comment or could not be reached or did not show interest to respond to the messages. At the minimum, three of the other people had been implicated by the indictment although they are solely charged with the drug offenses and not with participating in a gang.
The prosecutors had written that the gang members purchased a large number of chemicals very often that had been used to dilute or cut their drugs for boosting the profits. They had allegedly used cellphones that were designed to protect the communication. The members had also received coded text messages. The gang members carried loaded firearms or hid them in the rooms or residences, the indictment mentioned. They had carried out violent crimes for establishing dominance and levied control over the territory of the gang and also deterred rivals.
The indictment, however, did not mention any specific crimes related to the violence.
The prosecutors finally added that the sex trafficking gang had threatened people so that they refuse to cooperate with the investigators. They also had lookout for all of those who would alert them in case the law enforcement, undercover or uniformed was around. Further, the indictment adds that on various occasions the gang members dealt drugs to the informants, whose names are not disclosed.
Source: The Baltimore Sun
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