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Mobtown Beat

All in the Family

Father, Son, and Wife Busted in $150,000 Heroin Sting at Bay Café

By Van Smith | Posted 6/16/2010

The father tasted the heroin for quality, the son stuffed six half-kilogram bricks of it in the pockets of his shorts, and the son’s wife arrived with $150,000 in cash to pay for it. It all happened Sunday, June 13, in and around the Bay Café, near the Baltimore Marine Center, according to an FBI criminal complaint filed against the three in U.S. District Court the next day.

The four-page complaint, sworn out by FBI special agent Eric Nye, describes a scenario in which the father, son, and wife—Kevin Rodney Burnett Sr., Kevin Rodney Burnett Jr., and Shavon Christina Burnett—were nabbed by a sting operation set up after Burnett Jr., on June 5, told an undercover FBI employee that he wanted a more reliable source of heroin. His existing method was cheap, at $48 per gram, but used “couriers from Africa that smuggle balloons of heroin into the United States by ingesting them” and was “just too unreliable to keep his customers supplied,” the complaint states.

At the June 5 meeting, Burnett Jr. “agreed to purchase three kilograms for $50,000 a kilogram,” according to the complaint, which explains that the deal was set up as a result of a May 24 telephone call in which a “complainant” told Nye that Burnett Jr. “was attempting to purchase as much as 100 kilograms of heroin.”

At the June 13 sting operation, the complaint states, “Burnett Jr. cut into one of the bricks of heroin and had his father ingest some of it to see if it was quality heroin. Burnett Sr. explained to his son that it was good heroin, at which time Burnett Jr. placed all six half-kilogram bricks of heroin into the cargo pockets of his shorts.” Then Burnett Jr. called his wife and told her to bring “them three movies” to the Bay Café. After another phone conversation, in which Burnett Jr. tried to explain to his wife where the Bay Café was located, he instead “decided he would go outside to wait for her,” the complaint states.

As the father, son, and the undercover agent walked toward the parking lot to meet her, the two men were arrested by Nye and members of the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, the complaint continues. When the wife arrived in a black Honda Accord, she was asked “if she was Shavon and [was] here to do the deal,” which she said she was. She, too, was arrested, and the car was searched, turning up “a large shoe box containing $150,000 of US currency along with a small amount of marijuana,” the complaint states.

After his arrest, the complaint explains that Burnett Jr. told Nye “that he came to the Bay Café to purchase three kilograms of heroin for $150,000,” and “that $75,000 of the money was his and that other drug dealers provided the rest. He explained that some of these drugs were already accounted for by other drug dealers in the Baltimore area and the Eastern Shore, meaning that he was purchasing some of the heroin for these other dealers.”

On June 14, all three of the Burnetts had their first appearances in federal court, according to online court records. None of them had attorneys, and none could be reached for comment. The father and son were detained, and the wife was released.

Burnett Jr.’s description of using balloon-eating smugglers bringing in heroin from Africa is reminiscent of two other—here and here—Maryland federal cases from last year, and a third from 2006, all of which involved heroin smuggled from Ghana in pellets ingested by couriers. Of the five defendants in those three cases, four—Edward Aboage, Mohammed Marga, Godfrey Bonsu, and Victoria Boateng—are in prison, and the fifth, Frank Aidoo, is awaiting sentencing.

Burnett Family Heroin Complaint

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Tags: FBI, heroin, smuggling

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