Balto. Crime Roundup

Baltimore Heroin Trafficker Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

Jeffrey Cofield, 26, of Baltimore, was sentenced to 12 years Dec. 5 for conspiring to distribute heroin. He was also ordered to forfeit $58,531 seized Dec. 11, 2012 by police executing search warrants. After his release, he also faces four years of supervised probation, according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

Cofield pleaded guilty in the case. According to a plea agreement, he admitted to engaging in the distribution of heroin in Baltimore from July to December 2012. He also taught co-conspirators how to prepare and store heroin and instructed them on methods to store, collect and transfer money received from heroin distribution.

Rosenstein commended the DEA, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the case.

North Baltimore Gunman Gets 32 Years in Prison for Murder
Admitted He Killed Two Men in a Drug Conspiracy

Kyle Stevens, aka Cappo, 23, of Remington, Md., was sentenced on Nov. 25 to 32 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for fatally shooting Keith Ray in 2007, according to a statement issued by U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and others.

Cappo pleaded guilty in the Sept. 21, 2007 fatal shooting of Ray, known on the street as “Keithy.” The shooting took place in a wooded area off the 600 block of Wyman Park Drive in Baltimore. Ray’s body was found under a pile of logs four days later. An autopsy determined he died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, the statement said.

Stevens told authorities he participated in a conspiracy to distribute heroin, powder and crack cocaine and oxycodone. In furtherance of the drug conspiracy, on Jan. 24, 2006, he used a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun to murder James Wright, known on the street as “Ronnie Mo” and a .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun to murder Ray.

Rosenstein praised the FBI, ATF, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their assistance in the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Robert R. Harding and Christopher J. Romano.

Prince George’s County Man Gets 23 Years for Scheme to Steal almost 
$1.4 Million from Housing Authority of Baltimore City Account
Worked with Co-Conspirators from D.C. and Prince George’s

U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. on Nov. 21 sentenced Daren Kareem Gadsden, 36, of Upper Marlboro in Prince George’s County, Md., to 286 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Gadsden was sentenced for his part in a conspiracy to steal almost $1.4 million from a Housing Authority of Baltimore City bank account. Quarles also ordered Gadsden to forfeit $1,399,700, according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

“This heavy sentence punishes Daren Gadsden for a brazen scheme…” Rosenstein said. “Mr. Gadsden identified a vulnerability in the Housing Authority’s payment system and exploited it to steal taxpayer money intended to provide housing for low-income citizens.”

According to information presented at his six-day trial in 2009, Gadsden owned a property in Baltimore that was rented to a low-income individual whose rental payments were paid by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. The rent was paid from a housing authority account directly into Gadsden’s bank account. Witnesses testified that in late 2009 and 2010, Gadsden, known as “D,” made a series of inquiries to another bank where he had an account about how to use his computer to make electronic transfers to and from his account at that bank. In early 2010, the Housing Authority lost a few thousand dollars when a series of unauthorized electronic transfers debited funds out of the Housing Authority’s account and into Gadsden’s bank account. After being confronted, Gadsden denied any wrongdoing, but paid the Housing Authority $1,400 to cover some of its losses.

Trial evidence showed that Gadsden already had embarked on the second stage of his scheme, stealing $8,000 during the spring of 2010, depositing the stolen money into an account for a bogus entity he had created using someone else’s stolen information. Gadsden took money from the Housing Authority account by using fake authorization forms and other fraudulent documents.

The evidence showed that Gadsden worked with several co-conspirators. Specifically, Gadsden contacted Tyeast Brown to plan the fraud. Brown, in turn, contacted William Alvin Darden and Keith Eugene Daughtry, securing from Daughtry his social security card and birth certificate, which Brown provided to Darden. On May 19, 2010, Darden obtained a Maryland driver’s license with his photograph in Daughtry’s name, using Daughtry’s social security card and birth certificate as proof of identity. Darden then used the fraudulent license to open a bank account in the name of Keith Daughtry Contracting LLC. Gadsden had registered the entity with the state of Maryland only a few days before under a different name. Darden also provided a mailing address for the company that was actually a mailbox rented by the conspirators at a commercial mailing store.

According to witness testimony, beginning in July 2010, Gadsden and his co-conspirators electronically transferred nearly $1.4 million in funds from the Housing Authority’s bank account into the Keith Daughtry Contracting LLC account. The conspirators then drained the stolen funds from the Keith Daughtry Contracting account via electronic transfers into accounts at other banks and cash withdraws in person and at ATMs.

Quarles also sentenced William Alvin Darden, 46, of Washington, D.C. to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Darden, who previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme, was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,399,700.

Tyeast “Peaches” Brown, 42, of Suitland, Md., and Keith Eugene Daughtry, 52, of the District of Columbia, also pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 36 months and 41 months in prison, respectively. Each was ordered to pay restitution of $1,399,700.

Another co-conspirator, Marvin Moss, also pled guilty to his role in the scheme and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

The investigation was part of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive battle against those who commit financial crimes, the statement said.

The AFRO Crime Blotter is an occasional summary of crime and punishment in the DMV and Baltimore.

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Balto. Crime Roundup


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