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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Maryland
For Immediate Release
Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney
www.justice.gov/usao-md
Thursday, October 12, 2023

Howard County Man Pleads Guilty to His Role in a Murder-for-Hire Conspiracy

BALTIMORE – Jourdain Larose, a/k/a “JBlacc,” age 28, of Ellicott City, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to the use and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death, in connection with a murder-for-hire conspiracy. Larose admitted that he solicited others to murder victim Juan Ross in exchange for money and that in the course of the murder-for-hire Larose aided and abetted his co-conspirators who discharged firearms, resulting in the death of Ross.

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 and Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson.

According to his plea agreement, Larose 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 message.

As detailed in his plea agreement, Larose provided a gun to a conspirator on September 12, 2020, for the purpose of killing Juan Ross. On October 3, 2020, when the conspirator had not committed the murder yet, Larose solicited co-defendant Tyrik Braxton to commit the murder instead. On that same date, Braxton texted a cell phone number linked to co-defendant Daquante Thomas with the address where Ross could be found.

According to court documents, on October 4, 2020, after text messaging each other about the address where they could find the victim, Braxton, Thomas, and another co-conspirator drove to the area of Basket Ring Court in Columbia to locate Juan Ross, then drove to a drug store nearby, where Braxton got out of the car and left the area. A short time later, Thomas and the co-conspirator returned to Basket Ring Court, shot and killed Juan Ross and drove away together.

Although they denied knowing each other in post arrest statements, investigators linked Larose and Braxton through cellphone records and witness interviews. According to the plea agreement, after Ross’s murder, Braxton texted Larose that he had something important to discuss, and Larose told Braxton to Facetime him. As detailed in the plea agreement, on October 7, 2020, Braxton texted Larose, “It’s going to be hot as sh** out here” to which Larose responded, “It already is bro.”

Larose and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea, Larose will be sentenced to no more than 40 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Julie R. Rubin has scheduled sentencing for Larose on February 27, 2023.

Co-defendant Tyrik Braxton, a/k/a “Son-Son,” age 27, of Baltimore, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death and is expected to be sentenced to between 20 and 25 years in federal prison. No date has been set for his sentencing. On January 11, 2023, Judge Rubin sentenced co-defendant Daquante Thomas, age 21, of Baltimore, to 35 years in federal prison for the same charge. Thomas admitted that he was one of the shooters.

This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from the ATF's 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 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. PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. It is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works 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.

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