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Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty to Discharge of a Weapon Resulting in Death Related to a Murder-For-Hire

Human RightsBaltimore Man Pleads Guilty to Discharge of a Weapon Resulting in Death Related to a Murder-For-Hire

Baltimore, Maryland – Tyrik Braxton, a/k/a “Son-Son,” age 25, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death, in connection with a murder-for-hire conspiracy.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) Baltimore Field Division; Chief Gregory Der of the Howard County Police Department (“HCPD”); and Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson.

According to the plea agreement, on October 4, 2020, Howard County Police responded to a shooting in the area of Basket Ring Road in Columbia.  Victim Juan Ross was found shot and killed at the scene.  Braxton admitted that he accepted money and assisted the co-conspirators who shot the victim, knowing that the victim was going to be killed.

As detailed in the plea agreement, a co-conspirator accused Juan Ross, age 23, of Columbia, Maryland, of cooperating with law enforcement, including on a live social media conversation on September 9, 2020, and in text messages.  Juan Ross was arrested on drug and weapon charges on September 5, 2020, but was released on bail after being interviewed by police.

Braxton admitted that a co-conspirator solicited him to kill Juan Ross and that he accepted payment from the co-conspirator to commit the murder.  As detailed in the plea agreement, the defendant used interstate commerce facilities, specifically cellular telephones and a vehicle, in the commission of the murder-for-hire.

According to court documents, on October 4, 2020, after a text message exchange about the address where they could find the victim, Braxton, co-defendant Daquante Thomas and another co-conspirator drove to the area of Basket Ring Road in Columbia to locate Juan Ross.  After locating the victim, they drove to a drug store nearby, where Braxton got out of the car.  As detailed in Daquante Thomas’s plea agreement, he and the other co-conspirator then returned to the area of Basket Ring Court, shot and killed Juan Ross and drove away together.

On November 20, 2020, HCPD executed a series of search warrants, including at Braxton’s residence, where Braxton was arrested.  Law enforcement recovered a .45-caliber handgun with magazine and ammunition under the mattress in Braxton’s bedroom; a blue backpack containing $2,134 in cash, located under the bed and Braxton’s iPhone, located next to the bed.  The phone contained photos of Braxton and his co-conspirators and Braxton admitted that they were his co-conspirators in the murder-for-hire of Juan Ross.

Braxton and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea, Braxton will be sentenced to between 20 and 25 years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Julie R. Rubin has scheduled sentencing for November 8, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.

On January 11, 2023, Judge Rubin sentenced co-defendant Daquante Thomas, age 20, of Baltimore, to 35 years in federal prison for discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death.  Thomas admitted that he was one of the shooters.

Co-defendant Jourdain Larose, a/k/a “JBlacc,” age 27, of Ellicott City, Maryland, is charged with a federal murder-for-hire conspiracy, use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for hire and use and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death.  He remains detained while he awaits trial.  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.

This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).  NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms.  NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles.  For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF, the Howard County Police Department, and the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution and thanked the FBI, the Maryland State Police, the Anne Arundel County Police Department, the Baltimore County Police Department, and the Baltimore Police Department for their assistance.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Y. Hagan, who is prosecuting 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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Story from www.atf.gov

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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