Jamaica-born leader of drug trafficking ring convicted
BALTIMORE, USA (CMC) — The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says a federal jury here has convicted the Jamaican-born leader of a drug trafficking organisation of racketeering, kidnapping and murder.
According to ICE, on Tuesday a jury convicted Jean Brown, 43, for “murder in aid of racketeering in connection with a conspiracy to distribute marijuana in five US states and Jamaica.”
ICE said it conducted the investigation, which resulted in the eventual conviction, along with the US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Baltimore County Police Department, and the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
Brown was identified as one of the leaders of “the Brown Organisation, a criminal organisation whose members distributed narcotics in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona, California and Jamaica.”
Brown's co-defendant Gabriel Campa-Mayen, 45, of Tijuana, Mexico, was acquitted of all charges.
“Today's conviction of Jean Brown for drug conspiracy and kidnapping and murder in aid of racketeering is a victory for HSI special agents, who since 2009 have been investigating the Jean Brown drug trafficking organisation, which spanned five states and two countries,” said a statement from ICE.
William Winter, special agent in charge of HSI Baltimore, said HSI special agents have seized about 100 pounds of marijuana, US$853,000 in cash and bank accounts and six firearms from “these co-conspirators, who used intimidation and violence to further their criminal activities”.
According to evidence presented at the seven-day trial, Jean Brown and Carl Smith were the leaders of a drug organisation that obtained marijuana in Arizona and California and used trucking companies that Brown owned and operated to transport the drug to Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York on a monthly basis.
The ICE says Smith was later killed by one of Brown's co-conspirators.
Court records indicate that the drug traffickers transported as much as 1,000 pounds of marijuana per month from 2000 until Brown's arrest in 2010.
ICE said Brown “employed truck drivers and arranged for the distribution of the marijuana on the (US) East Coast, principally in Baltimore and Pittsburgh, used couriers to smuggle the drug proceeds to Jamaica, and sent cash back to the Southwest to pay for the next load.”
Brown faces a maximum of life in prison for the drug conspiracy, for kidnapping in aid of racketeering and for murder in aid of racketeering, and a maximum of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, ICE said.
Three other Jamaicans, Hubert Downer, also known as ‘Doc’ and ‘Michael Reid’, 51; Dean Myrie, also known as ‘Journey’, 39, and Peter Blake, 55, have all pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.