An assistant for Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby was arrested on gun and marijuana distribution charges in Baltimore County earlier this month, and released from jail Friday, court records show.
Jade Kala Johnson, 24, has been charged with having a loaded handgun in a vehicle, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm while distributing drugs, among several other offenses.
She was released from jail after being held without bond since her arrest June 6. She is being represented by prominent Baltimore defense attorney Warren Brown.
“She’s a college grad and neither the judge nor the prosecutor had a problem with her being released,” Brown told The Baltimore Sun. A Towson University graduate, Johnson has no criminal convictions.
Brown said the handgun is registered to his client, and that she did not have a proper concealed carry permit.
County police officers patrolling Reisterstown Road in Pikesville pulled over a car Johnson was driving around 8 a.m. June 6, according to charging documents. The officers suspected the tinted windows of the Volkswagen Tiguan were darker than allowed under state law.
When an officer approached the SUV, police wrote in charging documents, the officer allegedly smelled marijuana. Police often refer to the odor of marijuana to establish probable cause to search a vehicle.
Police wrote that officers found in the center console a 9 mm handgun loaded with a magazine containing 16 rounds, along with another 16-round magazine loaded with 14 bullets nearby. As Brown said, the gun was registered to Johnson.
Johnson was charged with utilizing a magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of three years incarceration, a $5,000 fine or both.
Officers checked with the Maryland State Police Gun Center, which determined Johnson did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Johnson listed her employer as the Baltimore City Council in a questionnaire ahead of her initial appearance in court. She reported being employed by the council for 10 months, and an income of $50,000. She does not yet appear in public salary databases, but Brown confirmed she works for the Democratic council president.
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Mosby did not respond Friday to requests for comment.
In the SUV, there was also a digital scale and more than 5 ounces of marijuana, separated among three plastic baggies, charging documents detail. Police wrote that the amount of weed, presentation and presence of a scale was indicative of drug dealing.
Brown has an explanation for that: “The passenger had some marijuana and she was giving him a ride.”
Johnson’s alleged passenger, Bernard Beasley Jr., faces the same charges as her. The 29-year-old is being held without bond. Beasley is represented by the Office of the Public Defender, which did not respond to a request for comment.
Both are also charged with using a firearm in the commission of a felony crime of violence. Charging documents describe no violence, but that charge can also apply to other felony crimes.
Brown said that’s an example of the case being incorrectly charged and that he expects the county prosecutor’s office to drop at least one charge.
State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger declined to comment Friday.