Kingpin Drug Dealer Kevin Darnell Dyson Died Close to Home in New Year’s Crash
Kevin Darnell Dyson Killed in Booze Cruise into Guardrail
PARK HALL, MD. – Kingpin drug dealer Kevin Darnell Dyson went out in a blaze of booze and/or drug-fueled glory on New Years Day, not far from his home, when his vehicle left Md. Rt. 5 and crashed into a guardrail, according to St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron. The ex-con kingpin drug dealer who spent fourteen years in federal prison had eluded confinement for nearly fifteen years before his conviction in 2008, as he went through a cycle of court appeals.
Dyson was caught in 1996 by St. Mary’s Sheriff Department narcotics investigator Lyle Long with a duffle bag full of cocaine in his rented car, returning from New York to dole out to his street team of drug dealers. Long had an informant with inside knowledge of Dyson’s I-95 cocaine express and was waiting for him to make an appearance in St. Mary’s County.
Dyson, born on August 19, 1967, first lived in Lexington Park and then moved to Park Hall, Maryland, and built a long history of crimes, was quite lucky in St. Mary’s County as assault and firearm and other charges were dropped against him on quite a few occasions.
St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron reports that Kevin Darnell Dyson was operating a 2002 Chevy that was northbound on Rt. 5 at Marshfield’s Lane in Park Hall when it left the roadway at about 9:46 pm on January 1, 2021, and struck a guardrail. Cameron reports that Dyson was trapped in the wreckage and died at the scene, with the weather, speed, and alcohol all factors in the crash.
The United States Bureau of Prisons released Kevin Darnell Dyson from custody on January 27, 2017, and it is unknown if Dyson had returned to his former status as one of the heads of the drug-dealing gangs in the area.
Dyson’s most recent sweet deal from St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz took place on December 13, 2019, when four DWI charges were dumped in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court.
DYSON’S GANG ALL WENT TO FEDERAL PRISON, INCLUDING WENDELL FORD
Many of Kevin Dyson’s accomplices also had charges dropped against them, from time to time as it was standard practice for St. Mary’s narcotics investigators to drop charges in return for dealers dropping the dime on their competitors.
Kevin Darnell Dyson had challenged the search of his car for drugs on July 3, 1996, when he was returning from New York to St. Mary’s, and a Maryland appeals court had ruled the police action was illegal.
But in June 1999, the Supreme Court reversed the Maryland ruling that searching a vehicle without a warrant is unlawful. That decision upheld an exception to the 4th amendment dating back to 1925, stating that police do not need a warrant when searching a vehicle when they believe a crime was taking place.
The case came before the court after Kevin Darnell Dyson’s conviction of conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute in St. Mary’s Circuit Court, which was prosecuted by Assistant States Attorney James Tanavage. Tanavage later went into private practice and, in 2020, was appointed a Maryland District Court Judge by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
Though police found 23 grams of crack cocaine, Dyson appealed his conviction, saying that the search was unlawful because the police did not obtain a search warrant and had ample time to do so.
The Supreme Court ruled police do not need the warrant to search a vehicle if they had sufficient cause to believe there was evidence of a crime, a decision that was widely criticized by ultra-liberals.
US Attorney Acted to Seize $5 Million in Dyson Gang Assets
US District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Kevin Darnell Dyson, of Park Hall, Maryland, on May 28, 2008, to 14 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine and crack cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime,
The U. S. Attorney sought in 2008 to seize up to $5 million in illegal income by seizing the assets of a drug gang who made millions selling drugs and destroying lives in St. Mary’s County. It is unknown if the government ever found any of Kevin Dyson’s gang’s booty.
The gang led by Kevin Darnell Dyson, include Vanessa Holloman, Edwin Elton Johnson Jr. (known as DC); Tavoy Kelly Summerville (aka Tavoy Somerville); James Leslie Saunders; Telvon Taylor; Paul Bibeau; William Barnes; James Mora; and Terrance Brooks.
As of the time of his death, Dyson remained friends with Holloman on Facebook but not with Corey Butler or Wendell Ford.
The following defendants pleaded guilty to their involvement in the drug distribution network, including
- TERRY BARBA, 48, of Newark, New Jersey, sentenced to 20 years in prison. Current Federal Inmate Status Register Number: 19067-050, Race: Black, Sex: Male, Released On 05/29/2020
- Edwin Elton Johnson, 46, of Lexington Park, Maryland sentenced to 86 months. Current Federal Inmate Status Register Number: 39258-037, Race: Black, Sex: Male, Released On 01/09/2012,
- COREY EUGENE BUTLER, 48, of Mechanicsville, Maryland, was sentenced to 84 months. Current Federal Inmate Status: Register Number: 39328-037 Race: Black, Sex: Male, Released On 07/03/2014
- TERRANCE J. BROOKS, 25, (DOB 08/17/1982) of Leonardtown, Maryland, was sentenced to 78 months.
- TAVOY KELLY SOMERVILLE, 42, of Lexington Park, sentenced to 70 months. Current Federal Inmate Status Register Number: 39253-037, Race: Black, Sex: Male, Released On 09/03/2010
- WILLIAM ALLEN SOMERVILLE, 42, of Leonardtown, sentenced to 57 months. Current Federal Inmate Status Register Number: 39698-037, Race: Black, Sex: Male, Released On 11/01/2016
- WILLIAM L. BARNES, 38, of Lexington Park, sentenced to 44 months. Current Federal Inmate Status: Register Number: 39252-037, Race: Black, Sex: Male, Release Date: UNKNOWN Location: Not in BOP custody
- PAUL BIBEAU, 60, of Ridge, Maryland, sentenced to 46 months. CURRENT Federal Inmate Status: Register Number: 39261-037, Race: White, Sex: Male, Released On 06/30/2011
- JAMES LESLIE SAUNDERS, 67, of Park Hall, Maryland, sentenced to 41 months in prison. Current Federal Inmate Status: Register Number: 39263-037, Race: White, Sex: Male, Released On 07/30/2010
- JAMES MORA, 53, of St. Inigoes, Maryland, sentenced to two years’ probation, including three months of home detention with electronic monitoring, and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
- VANESSA HOLLOMAN, 44, of St. Mary’s City and Brooklyn, NY, sentenced to 51 months in federal prison. Current Federal Inmate Status: Register Number: 28087-050, Race: Black, Sex: Female, Released On 03/28/2011
- JOSEPH MILBURN, 52, of Lusby, Maryland, sentenced to 60 months in prison. Current Federal Inmate Status Name: Register Number: 39327-037, Race: Black, Sex: Male, Released On 11/07/2011
- WENDELL FORD, 54, of Lexington Park, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison. Current Federal Inmate Status: Register Number: 39329-037, Race: Black, Sex: Male, Released On 07/20/2015
The drug gang was active in St. Mary’s County for many years, and some of the members were also involved in many other crimes in the tri-county region.
The cocaine gang was charged with distributing more than 5 kilos of cocaine, crack, and pot. The federal agents targeted those hiding funds or property purchased with the illegal proceeds of this drug ring to gain forfeiture of those assets.
The grand jury said the ringleader Dyson conspired with the accused and others “known and unknown” to distribute at least 5 kilograms of a substance containing cocaine and 50 or more grams of crack cocaine and quantities of marijuana.
After Wendell Ford served his prison sentence, he returned to the scene of his drug-dealing empire. He began to establish himself as a used car dealer, set up an ice cream business, and started a home-improvement firm specializing in house painting. Further proving his business acumen, Ford also began the operation of a vehicle towing company. Before entering a guilty plea and going off to prison, Ford proved adept at acquiring and managing real estate and operating a successful house cleaning business. Ford’s appetite for the illegal gains of selling human misery proved that greed was the driving force for his drug-dealing since he could earn a good living engaging in honest endeavors.
All through his career as a drug dealer, Ford was rightfully targeted by law enforcement efforts. However, the same law enforcement officers of the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department turned a blind eye to major white drug dealers in St. Mary’s County. Ford was adept at setting up relationships with suppliers in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, sending a courier to acquire the cocaine and bring it back to Maryland. Ford’s street dealers and sub-dealers operated like any multi-level marketing concern, and the drugs seldom were handled by him.
When Ford was arrested and charged with theft of building supplies, the criminal charges were dropped by States Attorney Richard Fritz in 2002. Just three years earlier, Fritz was acting as Ford’s criminal defense attorney.
Why is Republican St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron covering up for crooked cops? Where’s the loot? St. Mary’s Assistant Sheriff gave $80,000 in evidence to his stepson and a pal and was never charged with a crime
Ford then went to the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department to retrieve his tractor-trailer load of building supplies, which had been seized from him by St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Deputies in a raid authorized by a search warrant for the theft investigation. When Ford talked to Lt. Lyle Long about picking up his property, he was told that he wouldn’t get his property back. Ford contacted attorney Shane Mattingly of Leonardtown, who then went to District Court Judge John Slade to issue an order to return the property to Ford. Judge Slade issued the order to the Sheriff’s Department to return the seized property to Ford.
Ford still didn’t get his property back.
When ST. MARY’S TODAY learned the property had been stolen from the police property held storage next to the Leonardtown Library and passed out to deputies and the stepson of Assistant Sheriff Steven Doolan, the expose of the theft of the property by deputies was announced, with the bold headline of WHERE’S THE LOOT?
The subsequent articles resulted in Captain Doolan and Sgt. Mike Merican, now the current Assistant Sheriff, being relegated to desk duty by then-Sheriff Richard Voorhaar. Sheriff Voorhaar demoted Doolan to Lieutenant and then to the rank of Sergeant. Voorhaar also canceled his plans to run for a third term as Sheriff.
At the same time, the Maryland State Prosecutor began an investigation and issued a report that, to this day, Sheriff Tim Cameron refuses to release to the public. The report may have implicated other deputies besides Doolan involved in the theft of the building materials. Cameron also promoted Merican to his current post. Doolan finally resigned when he learned that Sheriff David Zylak would fire him. Still, he was never charged with any crimes of theft or misappropriation of property under the control of the Sheriff’s Department. Doolan’s wife was the campaign treasurer for States Attorney Richard Fritz. Fritz never brought criminal charges against Doolan.
THE SUPREME COURT RULING WHICH AFFIRMED THE CONVICTION OF KEVIN DARNELL DYSON AND OVERTURNED THE MARYLAND COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS:
At 11 am on the morning of July 2, 1996, a St. Mary’s County (Maryland) Sheriff’s Deputy received a tip from a reliable, confidential informant that respondent had gone to New York to buy drugs and would be returning to Maryland in a rented red Toyota, license number DDY 787, later that day with a large quantity of cocaine. The deputy investigated the tip and found that the license number given to him by the informant belonged to a red Toyota Corolla that had been rented to the respondent, who was a known drug dealer in St. Mary’s County. When the respondent returned to St. Mary’s County in the rented car at 1 am on July 3, the deputies stopped and searched the vehicle, finding 23 grams of crack cocaine in a duffel bag in the trunk. Respondent was arrested, tried, and convicted of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute. He appealed, arguing that the trial court had erroneously denied his motion to suppress the cocaine on the alternate grounds that the police lacked probable cause or that even if there was probable cause, the warrantless search violated the Fourth Amendment because there was sufficient time after the informant’s tip to obtain a warrant.
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed 122 Md. App. 413, 712 A. 2d 573 (1998), holding that in order for the automobile exception to the warrant requirement to apply, there must not only be probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is contained in the automobile, but also a separate finding of exigency precluding the police from obtaining a warrant. Id., at 424, 712 A. 2d, at 578. Applying this rule to the facts of the case, the Court of Special Appeals concluded that although there was “abundant probable cause,” the search violated the Fourth Amendment because there was no exigency that prevented or even made it significantly difficult for the police to obtain a search warrant. Id., at 426, 712 A. 2d. at 579. The Maryland Court of Appeals denied certiorari. 351 Md. 287, 718 A. 2d 235 (1998). We grant certiorari and now reverse.
The Fourth Amendment generally requires police to secure a warrant before conducting a search. California v. Carney, 471 US 386, 390—391 (1985). As we recognized nearly 75 years ago in Carroll v. United States, 267 US 132, 153 (1925), there is an exception to this requirement for searches of vehicles. And under our established precedent, the “automobile exception” has no separate exigency requirement. We made this clear in the United States v. Ross, 456 US 798, 809 (1982), when we said that in cases where there was probable cause to search a vehicle, “a search is not unreasonable if based on facts that would justify the issuance of a warrant, even though a warrant has not been actually obtained.” (Emphasis added.) In a case with virtually identical facts to this one (even down to the bag of cocaine in the trunk of the car), Pennsylvania v. Labron, 518 US 938 (1996) (per curiam), we repeated that the automobile exception does not have a separate exigency requirement: “If a car is readily mobile and probable cause exists to believe it contains contraband, the Fourth Amendment … permits police to search the vehicle without more.” Id., at 940.
In this case, the Court of Special Appeals found that there was “abundant probable cause” that the car contained contraband. This finding alone satisfies the automobile exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, a conclusion correctly reached by the trial court when it denied respondent’s motion to suppress. The holding of the Court of Special Appeals that the “automobile exception” requires a separate finding of exigency in addition to a finding of probable cause is squarely contrary to our holdings in Ross and Labron. We, therefore, grant the petition for writ of certiorari and reverse the judgment of the Court of Special Appeals.1
It is so ordered.