Tag Archives: 2022

Harford County Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison

December 21, 2022
Contact MARCIA LUBIN at (410) 209-4854


Defendant, Who was Previously Convicted of Drug Trafficking, and a Co-Conspirator Were Convicted After an Eight-Day Federal Trial

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Che Jaron Durbin, age 44, of Aberdeen, Maryland, on December 19, 2022, to 20 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine and for two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in connection with his participation in a drug trafficking organization distributing cocaine and crack cocaine in Harford County, Maryland.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr.; Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration; Postal Inspector in Charge Damon E. Wood of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division; Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office; and the Harford County Drug Task Force, a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, comprised of members of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Aberdeen Police Department, the Bel Air Police Department, and the Havre de Grace Police Department.

According to evidence presented at the eight-day trial, in May 2019, members of the Harford County Drug Task Force were investigating Durbin, who was suspected of drug trafficking in the Harford County area. Witnesses testified that on May 17, 2019, a U.S. Postal Inspector notified detectives that a suspicious package was en route to Durbin’s mother’s apartment in Aberdeen, Maryland. Detectives watched as a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier delivered the parcel to Durbin, who took it into the apartment. A short time later, a woman, later identified as co-defendant Jameka Cara Thompson, left the apartment with the parcel and drove to her home. Law enforcement detained Thompson and obtained a search warrant for her vehicle. The parcel was found to contain one kilogram of compressed cocaine. Further investigation revealed that co-defendant Jack Anderson from Tucson, Arizona was the sender of the package.

On January 22, 2020, law enforcement learned from U.S. Postal Inspectors that Durbin sent a parcel from Havre de Grace, Maryland, addressed to Anderson in Tucson, Arizona. A search warrant was obtained for the parcel after a K9 gave a positive alert. The parcel contained $82,300 in cash inside a wireless headphones box.

In February 2020, as part of the investigation, law enforcement intercepted Durbin’s communications, as well as those of Anderson, co-defendant Terrell Walton, and other co-defendants to whom Durbin supplied cocaine and crack cocaine. The evidence at trial demonstrated that Walton obtained cocaine from Durbin, which Walton then sold to a network of individuals in Harford County. Intercepted communications between Durbin and Walton included discussions regarding the amounts of drugs and the price, often using coded language.

According to trial testimony, in May 2020, law enforcement surveilled Durbin meeting with Anderson at a Tucson, Arizona hotel. Soon after the meeting, Durbin picked Thompson up at the Tucson Airport and drove her back to his hotel room. Durbin flew back to Maryland the next day and Thompson ultimately obtained a bulk supply of cocaine from Anderson on Durbin’s behalf. Thompson drove cross-country from Arizona to Harford County, where she was arrested on May 12, 2020. Law enforcement searched her vehicle, seizing 1.4 kilograms of cocaine. Durbin was also arrested. According to trial testimony, over the course of the conspiracy Thompson made at least eight similar trips on Durbin’s behalf, transporting almost 40 kilograms of cocaine to Maryland for Durbin to distribute.

Co-defendant Terrell Darnell Walton, age 36, of Delaware, was also convicted at trial for the drug conspiracy and was sentenced on September 23, 2022, to 13 years in federal prison. Co-defendant Jack Anderson IV, age 46, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced to 126 months in federal prison in December 2021, after Anderson entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Co-defendants Jameka Cara Thompson, age 42, of Abingdon, Maryland, was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison; Gerrick Devlon Jackson, age 40 of Havre de Grace, Maryland, was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison; and Michael Ronnell Wells, age 38, of Forest Hill, Maryland, was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison, for their roles in the conspiracy.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office, the DEA, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, and the Harford County Drug Task Force for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Romano, who prosecuted the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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Edgewood Woman Convicted of Arson and Felony Murder

DATE: October 25, 2022
RE: Multiple Homicide convictions

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced that yesterday afternoon, a Harford County jury found Bobbie Sue Hodge, 63, of Edgewood, Maryland, guilty of arson in the first degree, four counts of felony murder, and three counts of assault in the second degree stemming from an arson that occurred on May 9, 2019, at 1862 Simons Court in Edgewood, Maryland. Ms. Hodge faces a maximum penalty of four life sentences plus 60 years.

On May 9, 2019, at 2:28 a.m., a third-floor occupant of the dwelling, Ernest Lee, called 911 to report a fire at 1862 Simons Court. Members of the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department were the first engine to respond to the fire. By 2:35 a.m. when the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department arrived, the third floor of the townhouse was completely engulfed in fire. Abingdon Volunteer Fire Department, Bel Air Volunteer Fire Department, Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department, and Baltimore County-Kingsville Volunteer Fire Department, also responded to the fire. Ernest Lee, Dionne Hill, and Kimberly Shupe who were all on the third floor perished in the fire. Another third-floor occupant was able to escape the fire by jumping out of his thirdfloor bedroom window. He sustained a broken ankle and arm. The Defendant and two other basement occupants were able to escape to safety. Mary Elizabeth Kennedy who was living on the second floor was rescued by fire personnel and transported to an area hospital for treatment of her burns. Ms. Kennedy later died from her injuries on January 22, 2020.

The Maryland State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions, and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office conducted a joint investigation of the fire. After interviewing numerous witnesses including the occupants of the house, neighbors, and the Defendant, review of the 911 calls, and consulting with experts at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions, the Defendant was arrested for arson and murder.

The jury trial took place from October 5, 2022, until the verdict was reached on October 24, 2022.

“This tragedy shocked our Harford County community,” said Mr. Peisinger. “It is my hope that this verdict is a first step towards healing for the surviving victims and the families of those who lost loved ones.”

Mr. Peisinger thanked the Maryland State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions, and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for their joint efforts in the investigation and arrest of Bobbie Sue Hodge. He also thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Angela Diehl and Timothy Doory for their extraordinary advocacy that resulted in the verdict. Mr. Peisinger additionally thanked the Honorable Paul Ishak for diligently and patiently conducting the trial.

Marijuana Dealer Receives Maximum Sentence

DATE: February 24, 2022

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of John Williams Powell Mayo, 38, of Richmond, Virginia, for possession of a large amount of marijuana, which in this case was approximately 100 pounds.

On August 5, 2021, an officer with the Maryland Transportation Authority Police conducted a traffic stop on a 2008 Honda Odyssey bearing a Virginia registration. The sole occupant and operator of the vehicle was John Williams Powell Mayo. Based upon observations by the officer, he requested that a canine unit respond to the location so that a scan of the vehicle could be conducted. Due to the alert by the canine, a search of the vehicle was conducted.

Recovered from the vehicle in the rear of the driver’s seat was a backpack which contained a mason jar filled with greenish brown leafy substance, suspected marijuana. In addition, there were two glass smoking devices containing trace amounts of suspected marijuana, a metal grinder containing a greenish brown leafy substance, suspected marijuana, wax rolling papers, and a small glass bottle containing a yellow in color wax substance, suspected THC wax. These items were located near two prescription bottles with Mr. Mayo’s name on them.

In the rear cargo area, three large duffel bags were located which contained a total of one hundred heat sealed bags containing a large amount of greenish brown leafy substance, suspected marijuana which weighed approximately one hundred pounds.

A subsequent analysis of the recovered substances found in Mr. Mayo’s vehicle was determined to be marijuana.

On February 23, 2022, the Honorable Diane Adkins-Tobin imposed a total sentence of five years without the possibility of parole to be served at the Division of Corrections, which is the maximum sentence for this offense.

“Although the current desire in the Maryland Legislature this session is to legalize marijuana, this case is a clear example to those legislators of the sheer amount that offenders will attempt to import and sell in our communities,” said Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr. “I will continue to uphold my oath and work with our law enforcement partners to hold offenders accountable for all of our state drug laws.”

Mr. Peisinger thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Jaskulski-Tripp who prosecuted this matter and commended the Maryland Transportation Authority Police and their Canine Unit, for their exceptional work and dedication in this investigation which resulted in the arrest and conviction of John Williams Powell Mayo.