For Immediate Release
Baltimore Man Sentenced to 35 Years in Federal Prison for Murder-for-Hire
Defendant Murdered His Victim, Who Was Believed To Be Cooperating With Law Enforcement
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Julie R. Rubin today sentenced Daquante Thomas, a/k/a “Glock,” age 20, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 35 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death, in connection with a murder-for-hire conspiracy.
The sentence 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; and Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson.
“This case is a tragedy for the victim and the affected families. I am hopeful that our reenergized law enforcement and community partnerships will help break this cycle of violence,” said United States Attorney Erek L. Barron.
“Today’s sentencing is another example of the successful partnership that exists between our office and our law enforcement partners on the local, state, and federal level,” said Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson. “We are committed to working in a collaborative manner to solve cases, make arrests, and hold criminals, such as Daquante Thomas, accountable for their actions.”
“The prioritizing of money over humanity in this case shows just how little this defendant values the lives of others,” said ATF Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby. “We cannot allow individuals like this to walk freely in our communities, willing to murder citizens for the right price. ATF is proud to work alongside our local, state, and federal partners every day to identify and investigate the people responsible for committing acts of violence in Maryland.”
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, sustaining multiple gunshot wounds to the head. Investigation identified Daquante Thomas as one of the shooters. As detailed in the guilty plea, co-conspirator 1 accused the victim, 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 message. Thomas admitted that co-conspirator 1 solicited him and another conspirator to kill Juan Ross and that he accepted payment to commit the murder.
According to the plea agreement, on October 3, 2020, Thomas and co-conspirator 2 texted each other about the address where they could find the victim. The next day Thomas, co-conspirator 2 and co-conspirator 3 drove to the area of Basket Ring Road in Columbia to locate Juan Ross, then drove to a drug store nearby so that co-conspirator 2 could purchase an Uber card and leave the area. A short time later, Thomas and co-conspirator 3 returned to the area of Basket Ring Road, shot and killed Juan Ross, then drove away together.
Two co-defendants, Jourdain Larose, a/k/a “JBlacc,” age 27, of Ellicott City, Maryland, and Tyrik Braxton, a/k/a “Son-Son,” age 26, of Baltimore, Maryland, are 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. They remain detained while they await their 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-n....
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. Oldham, 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.