14 indicted in bust of alleged South Baltimore drug ring, police say

Police and prosecutors in Baltimore asked for the public's help Monday in locating six of 14 individuals still on the loose after being indicted on drug distribution and conspiracy charges last month, saying their efforts to arrest the men in recent weeks had failed.

Police said the indictments are related to the bust of a heroin and cocaine ring in the Brooklyn neighborhood of South Baltimore that they believe may have been connected to violence in the neighborhood as well, though the indictments involve drug charges only.

The other eight individuals indicted are in police custody, police said. Charges in the case were filed May 16, according to court records.

Police said the indictments stemmed from an investigation aimed at disrupting intense violence in the Brooklyn neighborhood earlier this year, when homicides in the Southern district were outpacing those elsewhere in the city.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said he believes the organization was involved in violent crime, and that one stolen handgun has been confiscated as part of the investigation.

"Where there's drugs, there's money, and where there's money there's guns. They're all interwoven. So these drug distribution and conspiracy charges are in fact symbolic of the violence that these same people engage in," Davis said. "These drug distribution charges are a way to make that community safer right now."

Those still wanted were identified as Jonathan McFadden, 26, of the 300 block Martingale Ave.; Everett Washington, 47, of the 3700 block of St. Margaret St.; John Goodman, 29, of the 1800 block of Braddish Ave.; Corey Jones, 30, of the 1600 block of Ruxton Ave.; Christopher Miller, 25, of the 400 block of South Smallwood St.; and Troy Matthews, 30, of the 2200 block of Mt. Holly St.

Those in custody were identified as Adrian Worrell, 33, of the 900 block of N. Monroe St.; Dayquan Givens, 21, of the 1600 block of Cliftview Ave.; Carl Griffin, 25, of the 3800 block of Pascal Ave.; Crystal Whye, 33, of the 800 block of Gretna Court; Horace Montgomery, 49, of the 7800 block of Huff Court; Dequan Cheatham, 31, of the 1800 block of Edgewater Ave.; Lance Parker, 32, of the 400 block of Ilchester St.; and Antoine Lucas, 38, of the 3900 block of Stokes Drive.

Davis said Worrell was the "primary target" of the investigation, but did not elaborate. He said nearly half of those indicted were on parole or probation for a range of other crimes in the past, including handgun offenses.

Worrell and the other defendants did not have attorneys listed in the case in online court records and could not be reached for comment. An arraignment is scheduled on June 9.

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she could not discuss the specifics of the case, but said the indictments were "yet another example of our partnership with the Baltimore Police Department to rid our communities of the drug trade, which all too often leads to the violence that we're seeing today."

Baltimore has had 151 homicides in 2017. There were 146 homicides through the end of May, the most ever.

The announcement of the indictments on Monday, weeks after they came down, came one day after The Baltimore Sun published an article outlining concerns among a broad array of Baltimoreans about the current pace of violence in the city, and the lack of a clearly articulated crime strategy.

Davis said the news conference was held because of the Police Department's inability to locate the six suspects who have not been arrested without the public's help. He also said the indictments were the result of the strategy and plan the Police Department has for the Southern District, which it has implemented with Mosby's office.

"Those strategies and plans aren't always visible to the entire community on any given day, but anyone who doesn't think there's a plan, anyone who doesn't think there's a strategy, anyone who doesn't think that there's collaboration that's occurring between our law enforcement partners, both within the city and with our federal law enforcement partners, is choosing not to pay attention," Davis said.

"It's a great sound bite to allege or to assume that there is not a coordinated public safety plan to go after folks who are bringing violence to our city. There certainly is one," Davis said. "But until we can get to a better place with how we hold violent repeat offenders accountable, we're going to keep having this conversation. Until we get to a better place in how we hold people accountable who choose to illegally possess a firearm in our city, we're going to keep having this conversation."

Davis has lobbied unsuccessfully in recent years to make illegal possession of a firearm in Baltimore a felony. It is currently a misdemeanor.

krector@baltsun.com

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