DEA, IRS raid the offices of Baltimore defense attorney Kenneth Ravenell and the firm representing him

Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Baltimore Sun.

Lawyer Kenneth Ravenell, in a 2017 file photo. announces the filing of a civil lawsuit on behalf of Kodi Gaines, the 6-year old son of Korryn Gaines who was fatally shot by Baltimore County police in 2016.

DEA and IRS agents executed two federal search warrants related to an investigation into Baltimore defense lawyer Kenneth W. Ravenell this week.

Don Hibbert, the assistant special agent in charge of the Baltimore office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, confirmed that the raids related to a continuing investigation of Ravenell, but referred questions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


Agents searched two locations, including Ravenell’s law office and the office of the law firm that represents him, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

Todd C. Edwards, a DEA spokesman, said the search warrants were executed Tuesday but declined to provide additional information.


Ravenell did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Ravenell’s office is on St. Paul Street in Mount Vernon.

The other location that was searched was the law firm of Brown Goldstein & Levy, at 120 E. Baltimore St. downtown.

“Earlier this week, federal agents executed a limited search warrant at the law firm regarding one of our clients,” according to a statement from the firm in response to questions from The Baltimore Sun regarding Ravenell.

“We complied with the warrant, and we are continuing to ensure all client confidences are protected,” the statement said.

In 2014, DEA and IRS agents raided offices at One South St., the home of the Murphy Firm where Ravenell was a partner. Ravenell left the firm a short time later, but has since re-emerged as one of the city's most prominent attorneys with his own firm.

Ravenell has not represented a criminal defendant in U.S. District Court in Maryland since the events of the fall of 2014, records show.

But Ravenell has continued to work on several high-profile cases in state court. He represented Kodi, the son of Korryn Gaines, the 23-year-old Randallstown woman who was shot and killed by county police in 2016, in a lawsuit. Jurors awarded Kodi more than $32 million in damages, and $4.5 million to his sister, Karsyn.


Earlier this year, a Baltimore County judge overturned the decision, which family members said they plan to appeal.

J. Wyndal Gordon, who worked with Ravenell on the Gaines case, said he was unaware of the search warrants but spoke highly of Ravenell’s work ethic.

“He’s a great guy, hardworking, and a very skillful attorney. He’s a beast when it comes to preparation, advocacy and execution,” he said.

Breaking News Alerts

As it happens

Be informed of breaking news as it happens and notified about other don't-miss content with our free news alerts.

Gordon said he hoped the situation would be resolved in Ravenell’s favor.

“In the field of justice, we cannot lose Kenny Ravenell,” he said.

More recently, Ravenell is representing Phillip West, who is charged in a shooting last December at a Fells Point bar. His trial is scheduled for this month, and he faces life in prison.


The search at Brown Goldstein & Levy is the latest search by federal agents at a prominent law firm recently.

In April, FBI agents executed a search warrant at former-Mayor Catherine Pugh’s attorney’s office at the Silverman Thompson Slutkin White firm at 201 N. Charles St.

Pugh is the subject of multiple investigations related to earnings from her self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s books.

At the time, her attorney, Steven Silverman, said of the search that “agents also did not seek or obtain any attorney-client privileged communications with the mayor, or any other information or documents from the firm or its clients.”