by Van Smith
Published in City Paper, Aug. 29, 2014
The FBI had a busy day in Baltimore on Aug. 11, thanks to an informant’s flurry of phone calls setting up drug deals that resulted in federal charges against nine men. The informant, dubbed “CW1” in court documents, had been arrested with “several kilograms of both heroin and cocaine,” and proceeded to set up sales of the drugs to his customers so the FBI could arrest them.
Seven were arrested over a four-hour period that afternoon, when they arrived in succession at the Mondawmin Mall parking lot, allegedly prepared to purchase kilograms of cocaine and heroin from CW1, who had supplied them in the past. Two, from Washington, D.C., were arrested that night at the Haddon Hill Apartments in Northwest Baltimore, where one allegedly worked as a maintenance man; agents seized $216,140 in cash from a maintenance-closet cabinet there. In one case, a defendant allegedly expected a setup at the mall parking lot, thanks to an earlier call from his probation agent, who asked him if he’d been arrested by the FBI, and so he came to the deal without any money.
All nine were indicted Aug. 22 by a federal grand jury, which charged them in a cocaine-and-heroin conspiracy. Many appear to have prior federal convictions. The court documents portray a hectic schedule of wheeling and dealing as the informant and the men prepared for major drug transactions that lured the alleged dealers into the hands of waiting law enforcers.
First arrested were Dominic William “Nick” Parker of Gwynn Oak and Jermaine “Main” Cannady of Eutaw Place in Baltimore, after their 1:05 p.m. arrival at the mall’s parking lot. Earlier, at 9:27 a.m., CW1 called Cannady, who was convicted of assault in the 2000s after throwing scalding-hot baby oil on a fellow inmate who he also beat with a broom handle while he was serving time for a 1999 drug-conspiracy conviction, and told him to “call Nick” and “wake his ass up” because “I don’t want fat boy and any other them motherfuckers, just Yo” to come to the drug deal. Later, just after noon, Parker got on the phone with CW1 and said he had some errands to do first, but CW1 told him to come do the deal first—which he and Cannady did, and were promptly arrested.
Next up, after their 1:41 p.m. arrival at the mall parking lot in a white pickup truck, were Tavon Alexander Louis “Tay” Hopkins and Cornell Dion “Nelly” Brown Jr., both of Northeast Baltimore. Described as “multi-kilogram dealers” who CW1 “supplied with cocaine,” the court documents indicate that CW1 initially tried to get them to come do the deal with Cannady and Parker, with whom Brown was previously convicted on armed bank-robbery charges. A half-hour before their arrival, Brown told CW1 that “I’ma come get four” kilograms, and then, later, “I’ma come back [and] get ten.” After their arrests, agents found $157,000 in cash in the truck, enough to purchase four kilograms. Hopkins told agents he “knew it was a set up” because “CW1’s vehicle was far from other vehicles, like the police set it up,” and that “he told Brown that he needed to drive away.”
At 3:01 p.m., Donte Eugene Taylor of McElderry Park arrived at the mall parking lot, having enthusiastically received CW1’s news, delivered over the phone at 9:41 a.m., that kilos of cocaine and heroin were available. “You ready to see me?” CW1 had asked, to which Taylor responded, “Yeah!” The deal was for one kilogram of each drug, and CW1 told Taylor he didn’t need to bring all the money, just enough “so I have something.” At 1:49 p.m., Taylor told CW1 that “I’m just waiting on my little homie to get me” some money. When Taylor was arrested, he had $2,504.
Guy Bordes Agnant Jr. was the next arrestee to arrive at the mall parking lot, at 4:05 p.m. The Laurel resident has a prior conviction for involuntary manslaughter in a highly publicized case in D.C. after a car crash, in which he was driving a vehicle at 90 mph, resulted in a man’s death. Agnant was skeptical of CW1’s proposed deal, since in his prior purchases from CW1—which court documents say involved a total of about 25 kilos of coke—had occurred in Columbia, Maryland. Nonetheless, Agnant was intrigued, texting CW1 a question—”How far can you go?”—to which CW1 replied, “As far as you want to go,” meaning as much coke as he wanted. The agreed-upon amount ended up being 15 kilos, with Agnant bringing half the money up-front. But when Agnant arrived, he was empty-handed, and CW1 explained that “Agnant was very nervous as he had been set up before” and “was nervous about the change in their normal dealings.”
After his arrest, Agnant told officers “that he knew something was up today because his probation officer called him and asked if he had been arrested by the FBI.” FBI special agent Eric Nye contacted the probation officer, “who confirmed she had called Agnant” and asked “if he had been arrested by the FBI.” Agnant also told officers he didn’t understand why he was being arrested, since “I didn’t have any money on me, I just came to look at it.”
About 25 minutes later, Ronald Timothy “Little Ronald” Sampson of Windsor Mills arrived at the mall parking lot and was arrested. Earlier in the day, he’d told CW1 he wanted to buy a kilogram each of heroin and coke, saying, “I need to see you bad.” CW1 responded by saying, “I got you, I got you . . . on both,” adding that it would cost $75,000 for the heroin and for the cocaine, “I’ma say about 38, since it’s a drought.” At 3:40 p.m., Sampson told CW1 that “I gotta put the word out as we speak”—meaning he would be alerting his customers that he’s about to be flush with drugs—and added that “I got some cash for when I see you.” He was arrested with $10,500.
The last two busted due to CW1’s efforts were D.C. residents Antoine Demarr “Vito” Washington and Vincent Ronald “Cuzo” Cooper, who both appear to have prior federal drug convictions. CW1 “has sold over 40 kilograms of cocaine” to them in the past, the court documents state. In the Aug. 11 deal, Cooper allegedly agreed to buy seven kilos of coke, but only had enough money to buy six kilos. At 8:45 p.m., the two men arrived at the Haddon Hill Apartments, where Cooper allegedly “was a maintenance man” who had “access to vacant apartments there to safely exchange the cash for the cocaine.” Washington was detained first, then Cooper was found “coming up from the vicinity of a basement storage door,” and, after agents detained him, they found a key to the maintenance closet, where they found “a large cabinet on the floor” in which was found “a brown paper bag containing” $216,140. Another $7,000 was recovered from Washington’s car.
Thus, thanks to CW1’s well-placed phone calls, law enforcers arrested nine alleged kilo-level drug dealers, some with serious criminal pasts, and seized about a half-million dollars in cash. That’s an impressive haul for a day’s work.