Feds shut down family crime ring in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County – CBS Baltimore
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A criminal ring comprised mostly of family members who sold deadly drugs at a W. Pratt Street auto shop and distributed them to another Anne Arundel County auto shop has been arrested following a 10-month investigation, according to federal investigators.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced Wednesday that law enforcement officials have arrested Dwayne Booze, 48, and Thomas Timothy Booze, 51, of Baltimore, as well as Maurice Dotson, 47, of Severn for various “drug and weapons charges”. Law enforcement officials also arrested Michael Booze, 27, and Thomas William Booze, 31, 31, of Glen Burnie.
READ MORE: AG identifies person shot and killed by Baltimore police last week and officers who fired weapons
The Booze family “ran a very sophisticated drug operation in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County,” Frosh said at a press conference Wednesday.
“Our investigation revealed as early as February 2021 that Duane Booze was running this operation distributing large quantities of the drug fentanyl cocaine marijuana in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County and Baltimore County,” he said.
Investigators learned that the organization uses two body shops – Xclusive Services, located at 1200 block of W. Pratt Street in Baltimore, and Furnace Branch Automotive, which is located in the 1700 block of E Furnace Branch Road in Anne Arundel County, authorities said. .
Detectives built their case in part on observing dozens of hand-to-hand drug transactions across multiple jurisdictions and intercepted communications via a wiretap that confirmed the distribution of large amounts of dangerous controlled substances, investigators say. federal.
They also tracked communication between members of the criminal network on social media and via cellphones, according to an indictment.
“Often these conversations were coded to avoid law enforcement and conceal the illicit nature of the conversations,” the indictment states.
The Organized Crime Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, along with detectives from the Anne Arundel County Police Department, used their sightings and other evidence to obtain court-ordered search and seizure warrants for 20 locations across Maryland, authorities said.
READ MORE: First Truckers Arrive in Convoy Planned to ‘Smother’ DC
Court records show that those warrants were executed in early December 2021.
At these various locations, police found and seized more than five kilograms of fentanyl, more than 500 grams of heroin, more than seven kilograms of cocaine and cocaine base, and nine firearms, according to federal investigators. Police also seized $70,000 in cash, according to federal investigators.
“Five kilograms of fentanyl – 11 pounds of fentanyl – that’s a huge amount,” he said. “What I – my understanding is that 1,000 micrograms will kill just about anybody. There’s a billion micrograms of fentanyl in a kilogram… That’s enough to kill a million people per kilogram.
Additionally, investigators discovered a sophisticated marijuana farm consisting of over 400 marijuana plants inside the Xclusive Services automotive store in Baltimore.
The family and their associates were shipping drugs from the Xclusive Services auto store to Furnace Branch Automotive, Paul Halliday, the assistant attorney general for the Organized Crime Unit, said at the news conference.
“We know that the drugs were…either distributed out of this location or taken to another location for distribution to mid- and lower-level purchasers in Baltimore County.
The criminal network’s arrest stems from “just a tip from a concerned citizen,” Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad said at the news conference.
“These cases take a long time to develop and sometimes people get upset when they tip and they don’t see immediate results,” she said.
NO MORE NEWS: The National Aquarium will drop the vaccination requirement on Friday
Ultimately, the sprawling operation led to a reduction in crime in the northern part of Anne Arundel County, Awad said.