Edgewood Man Convicted of 1st Degree Murder in Gang Shooting

MEDIA RELEASE
DATE: October 4, 2021
RE: Gang Murder Conviction

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced that on October 1, 2021, a Harford County jury found Rahzir Meyers, 20, from Edgewood, Maryland, guilty of murder in the first degree, gang and firearm offenses following a two-week trial before the Honorable M. Elizabeth Bowen. Sentencing was postponed to a future date to be determined.

On July 4, 2019 at 12:19 a.m., Harford County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to 1942 Eloise Lane in Edgewood, Maryland for a report of a shooting. Upon arrival, deputies and EMS learned that Khalil Johnson had been shot in the back and that the bullet exited through his chest. Johnson was transported to University of Maryland, Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where, despite life saving measures, he succumbed from his injuries.

An investigation, which involved several tips including anonymous witnesses, revealed that Rahzir Meyers was a member of the 400 Bloods gang which was in a feud with a local subset of the Crips gang. Witnesses stated that at the time of the murder, Rahzir Meyers stood on Brookside Drive and fired a handgun in the direction of Eloise Lane and victim Khalil Johnson. Further, video surveillance captured by Harford County Watch Surveillance cameras showed several individuals standing on Brookside Drive with at least one suspect firing a handgun in the direction of Eloise Lane and the victim Khalil Johnson. The video also shows Johnson running from the scene in the direction of 1942 Eloise Lane where he later collapsed. Multiple firearm casings were recovered from the area where the suspects were standing as well as a laser gun attachment. It was later determined that Rahzir Meyers’ DNA was on the gun attachment.

Witnesses also stated that there was a group of people hanging out in the area most of the late afternoon and evening hours of July 3rd through early hours of July 4th. The group included children, adults and others from the neighborhood who were out celebrating when the shooting occurred.

“Rahzir Meyers showed a shocking indifference to human life by carrying out this brutal gang murder in front of his entire community,” said Mr. Peisinger, “It is my hope that this verdict brings a measure of justice to the family of the victim of this callous and senseless act.” “As this case shows, this Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to use all available tools to disrupt and dismantle violent street gangs that threaten our communities including using the highly challenging Maryland Gang Statutes to hold violent offenders accountable.”

Mr. Peisinger further thanked the jurors who deliberated the case. He also praised the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, as well as all other first responders for their efforts in rendering aid at the scene and for the extensive investigation that resulted in the conviction of Mr. Meyers. Additionally, he commended Assistant State’s Attorneys Erin Smith and Toi Mason for their incredible advocacy in this highly complex case that resulted in this verdict.

TWO HARFORD COUNTY NARCOTICS DEALERS PLEAD GUILTY TO PARTICIPATING IN A CONSPIRACY TO SELL CRACK COCAINE

September 1, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
www.justice.gov/usao/md

Contact MARCIA MURPHY
at (410) 209-4854

TWO HARFORD COUNTY NARCOTICS DEALERS PLEAD GUILTY TO PARTICIPATING IN A CONSPIRACY TO SELL CRACK COCAINE

Murphy and Bolden Obtained Cocaine from a Supplier in Delaware and Sold At Least 112 grams of Crack Cocaine

Baltimore, Maryland – Reginald Leon Bolden, age 37, of Harford County, Maryland and Tremayne Gerrad Murphy, age 40, of Harford County, Maryland pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute cocaine base.

The guilty pleas were announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr.; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department; Sheriff Jeff Gahler of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office; and the Harford County Narcotics Task Force comprised of members of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Aberdeen Police Department, Bel Air Police Department, and Havre de Grace Police Department.

According to their guilty pleas, as a result of the Harford County Narcotics Task Force investigation into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) distributing powder and crack cocaine, Murphy, Bolden, and Joel Hammond were identified as DTO members. Law enforcement also observed numerous instances of drug-related activities.

For example, on February 24, 2020, investigators surveilled Bolden and Murphy as they traveled to Wilmington, Delaware to meet with a cocaine supplier. After completing the transaction for nine ounces of cocaine, Bolden and Murphy returned to Harford County to distribute the cocaine. Two days later, Murphy was observed traveling to a Wilmington, Delaware casino to return the cocaine to the original supplier as customers complained about the quality of the cocaine.

After meeting with the source, detectives followed Murphy back to Harford County where Murphy was observed conducting a hand-to-hand drug transaction.

As stated in their plea agreements, on March 15, 2020, Bolden was intercepted regarding the purchase of three ounces of crack cocaine from co-defendant Hammond. Bolden had arranged the transaction through a co-conspirator, who transported money to Hammond and received a small backpack from Hammond, which investigators believed contained the cocaine.

The co-conspirator, Murphy, and Bolden determined when Murphy could retrieve the cocaine. After the conversation, investigators observed the co-conspirator exit his residence with the same small backpack of suspected cocaine and briefly enter a vehicle operated by Murphy. Once the conspirator quickly exited Murphy’s vehicle without the backpack, Murphy subsequently traveled to Bolden’s residence.

After a brief period of time, Bolden was observed exiting Hammond’s residence and proceeded to return to Harford County. As Bolden returned to Harford County, members of the Harford County Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant on his vehicle where law enforcement seized 16 grams of powder cocaine, 41 grams of crack cocaine, and $660 in cash.

As a result of a search warrant executed at Bolden’s residence, law enforcement recovered 12 grams of crack cocaine, $2,785 in cash, numerous items of packaging material, and a digital scale containing cocaine residue.

As a member of the DTO, Bolden agrees that it is reasonably foreseeable that the amount of crack cocaine sold was at least 280 grams but less than 840 grams.

Murphy and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Murphy will be sentenced to between 60 months and 92 months in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for December 2, 2021 at 11 a.m.

Bolden and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Bolden will be sentenced to between eight years and nine years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for November 2, 2021 at 11 a.m.

Co-defendant Joel Hammond pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine base on July 1, 2021. If the court accepts the plea agreement, Hammond will be sentenced to six years in federal prison. His sentencing is set for October 27, 2021 at 11 a.m.

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the DEA, the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Harford County Narcotics Task Force, and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Romano, who is prosecuting the case.

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Edgewood Man Convicted of Gun Offenses

DATE: August 31, 2021
RE: Conviction of Damian Walton

Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, announced today the conviction of Damian Walton, 31, Edgewood, Maryland, for possession of a regulated firearm by a prohibited person and the wearing, carrying and transport of a firearm.

On August 12, 2020, Deputy Robert Witt of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to 1714 Crimson Tree Way in Edgewood, Maryland for a report of a gunshot. Upon arrival, Deputy Witt observed a man later identified as Damian Walton and woman later identified as Cindy Newton standing by a car. As Deputy Witt exited his patrol vehicle, Mr. Walton bent down toward the left front tire area. Due to the nature of the call, Deputy Witt ordered Mr. Walton to walk towards him and looked at the car Mr. Walton was standing near, where he discovered a .40 caliber handgun on the tire. A .40 caliber shell casing was also discovered near the scene. It was further discovered that Mr. Walton had a lengthy criminal history including previous convictions for firearms and felony narcotics, which prohibited him from possessing or handling a handgun.

Following a bench trial before the Honorable Yolanda L. Curtin, on August 25, 2021, Damian Walton was found guilty of possession of a regulated firearm by a prohibited person and the wearing, carrying and transport of a firearm. Judge Curtin then sentenced Mr. Walton to 15 years, suspend all but seven years incarceration with five years of supervised probation upon release. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Charles Fitzpatrick.

Mr. Peisinger thanked Deputy Witt, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and Assistant State’s Attorney Charles Fitzpatrick for their outstanding work and dedication in the investigation and prosecution that resulted in the conviction of Mr. Walton.

Edgewood Man Sentenced in 2019 Shooting Death

DATE: August 23, 2021
RE: Sentencing of Anthony Martin, Jr.

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, announced the sentencing of Anthony Martin, Jr., 18 of Edgewood, Maryland for first degree murder.

On November 1, 2019 at approximately 3:19am, deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 1800 block of Grempler Way in Edgewood, Maryland for a victim suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was later identified as Joshua Crouse who had a single gunshot wound to his upper torso. Medics tried to revive Mr. Crouse but life saving measures were unsuccessful and he succumbed to his injury.

The resulting investigation revealed that Mr. Crouse met with Anthony Martin, Jr. at a Shell Station in Edgewood. Mr. Crouse arranged to purchase $60 worth of a controlled dangerous substance from Mr. Martin. Mr. Crouse met up with Mr. Martin on Grempler Way. During this meeting, Mr. Martin approached Mr. Crouse with an AR-15 firearm and shot him in the torso while attempting to rob him of his money.

Witnesses on the scene provided a description of Mr. Martin and advised that he was inside of the Shell station shortly before the shooting. Surveillance video from the Shell Station was reviewed and it showed Mr. Martin as described by witnesses. Based upon the video, a photographic array was presented to two witnesses who also identified him.

Mr. Martin pled in the Circuit Court for Harford County before the Honorable Yolanda L. Curtin on July 23, 2021 to one count of murder in the first degree. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Angela Diehl.

The sentencing hearing occurred on August 23, 2021. The victim’s family attended the hearing and the Court heard statements describing the impact this crime had on them and on the community. The Court sentenced Mr. Martin to life suspend all but 40 years of incarceration, to be served at the Division of Corrections, with five years of probation to follow.

Mr. Peisinger expressed condolences to the victim’s family for this tragic and senseless loss.

Mr. Peisinger further thanked the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, emergency response personnel and Assistant State’s Attorney Angela Diehl for their outstanding work and dedication in the investigation and prosecution that resulted in the conviction of Mr. Martin.

Harford County Man Convicted Of Multiple Attempted First Degree Charges After Firing 200 Rounds At Sheriff’s Deputies And Injuring Neighbor

DATE: August 20, 2021
RE: Conviction of Benjamin Murdy

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced that following a four-day bench trial in front of the Honorable Kevin J. Mahoney, Benjamin Murdy, 45, from Street, Maryland, has been convicted of five individual counts of attempted first degree murder and related charges as well as animal cruelty. The conviction follows a violent incident wherein Mr. Murdy fired approximately 200 rounds at Harford County Sheriff’s Deputies. Sentencing has been set for December 6, 2021.

On January 21, 2020, at approximately 6:52 p.m., Corporal Brian Wyzga, Senior Deputy Jason Flemmens, Deputy Nathan Schnitzlein and Deputy Nicholas Lastner from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of 4509 Oak Ridge Drive, in Street, Maryland for a report that Benjamin Murdy had shot the family dog and was in the house with the gun.

As the deputies moved towards the house, Mr. Murdy started shooting at them. The deputies took cover at various locations in the neighborhood, however, Mr. Murdy continued to fire shots at them for approximately 60 minutes. The deputies did not return fire. During the course of the encounter, Mr. Murdy shot Mr. Robert Schell, a neighbor across the street from the house, in the leg and groin as a well as a patrol vehicle and truck.

Mr. Murdy then finally surrendered to the deputies. A search of his house resulted in the recovery of an AR-15 and a .40 caliber handgun. Casings and ammunition were also recovered. There were three fired casings in the backyard and 195 fired casings in the driveway. During the course of the search, the deputies also discovered Cora, the family dog, tied to the deck and shot multiple times.

During an interview, Mr. Murdy admitted shooting the dog because it would not stop barking. He further stated that he intended to kill the deputies as they approached the house.

“As this prosecution and today’s ruling confirms, we are committed to holding accountable individuals who commit senseless violence towards the citizens of Harford County and our law enforcement partners,” said Mr. Peisinger. Mr. Peisinger further stated: “This case is a stark reminder that law enforcement face extremely dangerous situations while keeping our communities safe. These deputies deliberately and selflessly put themselves in harms way to contain what could have been a very tragic situation. I applaud their actions and sincerely hope that Mr. Schell makes a full recovery.”

Mr. Peisinger further thanked all responding Harford County Sheriff’s deputies and emergency response personnel for their response and investigation and Assistant State’s Attorney Charles Fitzpatrick for his advocacy that resulted in the conviction of Mr. Murdy.

Message from Harford County State’s Attorney Regarding Sean Reyes

DATE: July 21, 2021

MEDIA RELEASE

Statement of Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr. regarding State v. Sean Reyes

State vs. Sean Reyes was resolved today after Mr. Reyes accepted responsibility for hindering and obstructing Deputy Keith Jackson during a traffic stop on May 5th , 2021. Mr. Reyes agreed to write a letter of apology and complete a period of community service. Deputy Jackson was consulted throughout the entire case and agreed to resolve this matter in this manner. Mr. Reyes has since written his letter of apology wherein he now acknowledges that his actions were misguided, recognizes the important role law enforcement play when engaged in the course of their duties and understands the proper way to exercise his 1st amendment rights.

I would like to take this time to thank Deputy Jackson, not just as the State’s Attorney but as a citizen of Harford County, for the constant and continued professionalism that he has and continues to display in his career. What should have been focused on from the events of that evening was the excellent police work done by Deputy Jackson. He was able to manage the initial traffic stop with respect and clear communication. When Mr. Reyes engaged Deputy Jackson, he used proper de-escalation methods to gain control of that situation as well. Deputy Jackson’s actions that evening exemplify how our law enforcement routinely interacts with our Harford County community and how it should be done.

I have agreed to this resolution after receiving Deputy Jackson’s consent and reading Mr. Reyes’s letter of apology. I also want to make it perfectly clear that my Office will continue to prosecute any individual that hinders or obstructs our law enforcement agencies within our county. Thank you to all the men and women of law enforcement for all that you do each day to keep our community safe.

Bel Air Bank Teller convicted in Home Invasion

DATE: July 19, 2021
RE: Conviction of Nathan Newell

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Nathan Newell, 21, from Bel Air, Maryland, for attempted murder in the second degree and related home invasion charges.

On November 11, 2019, deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to Still Pond Way in Bel Air. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with 78 year-old Glenn Kulik who reported that earlier in the evening, his doorbell rang and as soon as he opened the door a large masked man attacked him, knocked him to the ground and strangled him. Mr. Kulik’s stepdaughter, Natalie Sodano, awoke from the commotion and came rushing downstairs. When she saw what was happening, she jumped on the assailant’s back. The attack continued through the living room, into the kitchen, back to the living room, and back to the front door. The assailant, whose mask came off during the struggle, ran upstairs looking for money before fleeing the house.

Mr. Kulik and Ms. Sodano identified their attacker as Nathan Newell, a bank teller who had served Mr. Kulik the week before. The Harford County Sheriff’s office took Newell into custody wherein he delivered a partial confession. Later, Mr. Newell acknowledged that he knew Mr. Kulik had withdrawn a large sum of money and that was the basis of his attack.

Following a two-day bench trial in front of the Honorable Angela M. Eaves, Mr. Newell was convicted of attempted murder in the second degree, home invasion, first degree burglary, robbery, first degree assault, second degree assault, and attempted theft of $1,500 to less than $25,000. Sentencing has been scheduled for October 15, 2021.

Mr. Peisinger thanked the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, emergency response personnel, and Assistant State’s Attorneys Jason Allen and Toi Mason for their outstanding work and dedication in conducting the investigation and prosecution that resulted in the conviction of Mr. Newell.

Harford County Narcotics Task Force announces the indictment of 22 in county-wide cocaine wiretap investigation

Harford County Narcotics Task Force announces the indictment of 22 in county-wide cocaine wiretap investigation

For Immediate Release: Cristie Hopkins, HCSO Media and Public Relations, 410-836-5403

[June 8, 2021, Bel Air, MD] Harford County State’s Attorney Albert Peisinger, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner, Bel Air Police Chief Charles
Moore, Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert, and Havre de Grace Police Chief Teresa Walter, together as the Harford County Narcotics Task Force, announce the indictment of 18 individuals for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and other crimes after a several months long wiretap investigation. Additionally, 4 individuals are charged with standalone cases involving firearms and/or the possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances as a result of this investigation.

The indictments, state and federal, occurred over a several month time period between July 2020 and October 2020, with arrests continuing until April of 2021. At this time, there is one outstanding warrant.

Indicted for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and related charges are:

Aubrey Akers, 39, Darlington, MD; Released on bond

Nancy Akers, 59, Darlington, MD; Currently being held at the Harford County Detention Center

Burton Anderson, 51, Street, MD; Released on bond

Jack Anderson, 44, Tucson, AZ; Federally detained

Reginald Bolden, 37, Bel Air, MD; Federally detained

Che Durbin, 42, Aberdeen, MD; Federally detained

Adrian Goodwin, 35, Havre de Grace, MD; Currently being held at the Harford County Detention Center

Joel Hammond, 35, Essex, MD; Federal home detention

Wayne Mclain, Jr., 36, Street, MD; Released on bond

Tremayne Murphy, 40, Aberdeen, MD; Federally detained

Curtis Myers, Jr., 36, Belcamp, MD; Released on bond

Edward Pettigrew, 59, Aberdeen, MD; Currently being held at the Harford County Detention Center

Lenora Sikalis-Barber, 53, Darlington, MD; Released on bond

Lee Ann Taylor, 48, Darlington, MD; Open Arrest Warrant

Jameka Thompson, 40, Abingdon, MD; Federally detained

Romaine Timms, 50, Aberdeen, MD; Released on bond

Terrell Walton, 34, Bel Air, MD; Federally detained

Michael Wells, 36, Churchville, MD; Federally detained at the Harford County Detention Center on additional State charges

Also charged are:

Ramon Dalmida, 38, Aberdeen, MD; Released on bond

Gerrick Jackson, 39, Havre de Grace, MD; Federally detained

Sterling Melton, 34, Aberdeen, MD; Currently being held at the Harford County Detention Center

John Washington, 26, Aberdeen, MD; Currently being held at the Harford County Detention Center

Known as “Operation All Aboard” this investigation, that began from two community tips, ultimately led to a court authorized wiretap of 18 phone lines and one social media messenger platform and took investigators across the country. Narcotics Task Force detectives and prosecutors worked tirelessly from developing the tips, in February 2019 and lasting well into 2020, to bring the investigation to a close.

The indictment alleges that the drug trafficking organizations led by Che Durbin and Reggie Bolden were responsible for the distribution of large quantities of cocaine throughout Harford County. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement travelled to Tucson, Arizona and observed what they believed to be narcotics related transactions occurring in furtherance of the conspiracy and cocaine being transported directly back to Harford County for distribution. Multiple search warrants were executed throughout Harford County. Recovered during the course of this investigation were more than 2.5 kilos of cocaine, 66.2 grams of crack cocaine, 69 pills of fentanyl, 435 grams of marijuana, 31 suboxone strips, 28 firearms, 19 vehicles valued at more than $258,000, and approximately $110,000 in US currency.

Charges against some individuals are State charges pending in the Circuit Court for Harford County while others have been indicted on Federal charges and are pending in the United States District Court of Maryland. An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

The Harford County Task Force is a highly trained, self-governing, multi-jurisdictional entity with a mission to investigate and prosecute offenses in the areas of mid to upper level drug trafficking, homeland security, and vice while supporting and facilitating cooperation and coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement. We pledge to complete this mission without prejudice or partiality by utilizing intelligence-driven policing with valor, virtue, and integrity.

Havre de Grace Resident Sentenced for Child Abuse Resulting in Death

DATE: June 1, 2021
RE: Sentencing of Brenton Mills

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, announced the sentencing of Brenton Mills, 27 of Havre de Grace, Maryland for child abuse resulting in death.
On January 7, 2019, officers of the Havre de Grace Police Department were dispatched to 667 Green Street in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Upon arrival, officers discovered that the victim, a two year old girl, was suffering from a cardiac arrest. She was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital, but, despite numerous life-saving attempts, she died approximately one week later. Doctors discovered that the victim sustained brain swelling and bleeding that were the result of a high velocity trauma and she appeared to be the victim of abuse. Following an extensive investigation by the Havre de Grace Police Department, including multiple interviews with the victim’s caregivers, Brenton Mills was identified as a suspect and arrested on December 19, 2019.

Mr. Mills pled in the Circuit Court for Harford County before the Honorable M. Elizabeth Bowen on November 10, 2020 to one count of child abuse resulting in death. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Tabone.

The sentencing hearing occurred on June 1, 2021. The victim’s family attended the hearing and the Court heard several statements describing the impact this crime had on them and on the community. The Court sentenced Mr. Mills to 40 years suspend all but 15 years of incarceration, to be served at the Division of Corrections, with five years of probation to follow.

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Harford County expressed condolences to the victim’s family for this
tragic and senseless loss.

Aberdeen Man Sentenced to Life in 2018 Murder

DATE: June 1, 2021
RE: Homicide Sentencing

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the sentencing of Joseph Daniel Parrish, 28, from Aberdeen, Maryland, for murder in the first degree, witness retaliation and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

On November 11, 2018, officers of the Havre de Grace Police Department responded to the 200 block of North Washington Street in Havre de Grace, Maryland following a report of an individual suffering from a laceration. Upon arrival, officers discovered that the victim, 61 year-old Jeffrey Coudon, had sustained gunshot wounds. Despite immediate life-saving efforts and transport of Mr. Coudon to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma, he succumbed to his injuries three days later on November 14, 2018. Following an extensive investigation, two individuals, Robert Lee Zeman, III, 34, from Havre de Grace, Maryland and Mr. Parrish were identified and arrested in April of 2019. Mr. Zeman was convicted on February 14, 2020 for being an accessory to the murder.

Following a lengthy trial in the Circuit Court for Harford County before the Honorable Paul W. Ishak, Mr. Parrish was found guilty by a jury on October 17, 2019. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorneys Timothy Doory and Gabriella Vazzana.

Today, following the presentation of statements by friends and family of the victim, the Court sentenced Mr. Parrish to life in prison for the first degree murder, 20 years for witness retaliation and 20 years for the firearm charge, both of which are to be served consecutive to each other and to the murder.

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Harford County expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to Mr.
Coudon’s family and friends for their unimaginable loss.