From the US Attorney’s Office in Baltimore:
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal jury yesterday convicted Che Jaron Durbin, 43, of Aberdeen, Maryland, and Terrell Darnell Walton, 36, of Delaware, on federal charges related to their participation in a drug trafficking organization distributing drugs. cocaine and crack in Harford County, Maryland. Specifically, the jury convicted Durbin and Walton of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine. The jury also found Durbin guilty of two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
The guilty verdict was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr.; Deputy Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration; 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, made up of members from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Aberdeen Police Department, Dept. Bel Air Police and Havre de Grace Police Department.
According to evidence presented during the eight-day trial, in May 2019, members of the Harford County Drug Task Force were investigating Durbin, who was suspected of trafficking drugs in the Harford County area. Durbin testified at trial that he had a previous federal drug trafficking conviction in Maryland, as well as a previous conviction in Harford County Circuit Court for drug trafficking.
Witnesses said that on May 17, 2019, a U.S. postal inspector advised detectives that a suspicious package was on its way to Durbin’s mother’s apartment in Aberdeen, Maryland. Detectives watched as a US Postal Service courier delivered the package to Durbin, who took it to the apartment. Shortly after, a woman, later identified as co-defendant Jameka Cara Thompson, left the apartment with the package and went to her house. Law enforcement arrested Thompson and obtained a search warrant for his vehicle. The package contained one kilogram of compressed cocaine. Further investigation revealed that co-defendant Jack Anderson of Tucson, Arizona was the sender of the package.
On January 22, 2020, law enforcement learned from U.S. Postal Inspectors that Durbin had sent a package from Havre de Grace, Maryland, addressed to Anderson in Tucson, Arizona. A search warrant was obtained for the package after a K9 gave a positive alert. The package contained $82,300 in cash inside a box of wireless headphones.
In February 2020, as part of the investigation, law enforcement intercepted Durbin’s communications, as well as those of Anderson, Walton, and other co-defendants to whom Durbin supplied cocaine and crack cocaine. Evidence at trial also showed that Walton obtained cocaine from Durbin, which Walton then sold to a ring of individuals in Harford County. Intercepted communications between Durbin and Walton included discussions regarding drug quantities and price, often using coded language.
According to trial testimony, in May 2020, law enforcement monitored Durbin’s meeting with Anderson at a hotel in Tucson, Arizona. Shortly after the meeting, Durbin picked up Thompson from the Tucson airport and took her back to her hotel room. Durbin returned to Maryland the next day, and Thompson eventually secured 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 an additional 3 pounds of cocaine. Durbin was also arrested. According to trial testimony, during the conspiracy, Thompson made at least eight similar trips on Durbin’s behalf, transporting nearly 40 kilograms of cocaine to Maryland for Durbin to distribute.
Durbin and Walton each face a maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine. Durbin also faces a maximum of 40 years in federal prison for each of two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III did not set sentencing dates for Durbin or Walton.
Co-defendant Jack Anderson IV, 45, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced to 126 months in federal prison in December 2021, after Anderson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Co-defendants Jameka Cara Thompson, 41, of Abingdon, Maryland; Garrick Devlon Jackson, 39, of Havre de Grace, Maryland; and Michael Ronnell Wells, 37, of Forest Hill, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to their part in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office, the DEA, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the Harford County Drug Task Force. Harford for their work in the investigation and thanked the United States Postal Inspection Service for their assistance. Mr Barron thanked Special Assistant US Attorneys Christopher J. Romano and Jason X. Hamilton, who are prosecuting the case.
For more information about the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and the 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.