Baltimore businessman formally targeted for federal criminal prosecution

Gerald Lamont Jones, the Baltimore body-builder who owns a Gold's Gym franchise in Owings Mills, the Pimlico Motors chain of auto dealerships in Baltimore, and JBL Construction, is now officially a target for federal criminal prosecution, court documents filed yesterday reveal. Jones, who previously was implicated but not charged in overlapping conspiracies allegedly responsible for thousands of kilograms of cocaine coming to Maryland from California, received a "target letter" in February, the documents state.

After Jones' prior attorney, Kobie Flowers, stepped down in an ongoing civil-forfeiture case alleging that Jones' substantial real-estate holdings in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Florida are derived from proceeds of criminal conduct, he is now being represented by assistant federal public defender Premal Dharia, who is handling both the potential criminal charges and the forfeiture case.

Others with whom Jones was implicated are already serving federal prison time. Baltimore native and former CEO of the Jones-directed hip-hop company Behind Da Scenes Entertainment, Charles Dwight Ransom Jr., pleaded guilty and last year received a publicly undisclosed sentence for his part in the California end of the pipeline, which used private jets to shuttle coke and cash to and from Maryland, and is scheduled for release in 2023. George Sylvester Frink Jr., a Jones business associate based in Baltimore, also pleaded guilty last year in Maryland and is scheduled for release in 2018.

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