BALTIMORE – A federal jury on June 8 convicted Andre Ricardo Briscoe, aka “Poo,” age 38, of Baltimore and Cambridge, on federal drug distribution charges, use of a firearm to commit murder in relation to drug trafficking crimes, killing a witness to prevent communication with law enforcement and being a felon in possession of firearm and ammunition.
The conviction 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 Baltimore Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Chief Mark K. Lewis of the Cambridge Police Department.
“This case is nothing short of tragic. A mother and her child, who was believed to be a witness, were senselessly murdered by defendant Andre Briscoe,” said Barron. “Let this conviction serve as a message to those who would take a life that the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland will prosecute anyone who harms, or attempts to harm, witnesses.”
“There is a little boy who should be a teenager right now, but who instead was murdered at only 7 years old because he witnessed the murder of his mother. That kind of callous disregard for their lives is reprehensible,” said Crosby. “ATF and our partners work tirelessly to take violent offenders off the street and give victims the justice they deserve. While it can never make up for their loss, we hope that today the family of Jennifer Jeffrey and her son feel some sense of justice. ATF will continue in our mission to stop trigger-pullers, protect victims and witness, and help create safer communities in Baltimore.”
“Andre Briscoe displayed a total disregard for human life as he murdered an innocent child in a heinous act of violence,” said Sobocinski. “Violence and intimidation of witnesses will not be tolerated. Rest assured the FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to pursue and hold accountable those who seek to terrorize our communities and hurt innocent people.”
According to the facts proven at his 12-day trial, from March through October 2015, Briscoe conspired with others to distribute heroin. On May 25, 2015, Briscoe traveled from his home in Cambridge to the home of Kiara Haynes, with whom he was romantically involved. He told Haynes that he planned to steal heroin from Jennifer Jeffrey, a long-time friend of Haynes. According to trial testimony, during the course of the evening, Briscoe explained that Jeffrey had heroin and he planned to rob and kill Jeffrey to get the heroin. Haynes told Briscoe she would help him get a gun.
Haynes subsequently contacted a relative whom she knew to have a gun. The relative was incarcerated at the time. Haynes told the relative on a recorded jail line that she needed the gun so Briscoe could rob Jeffrey of her drugs. In exchange for allowing Haynes to use the gun, Haynes promised to give the inmate “like 30 (grams)” of the stolen heroin and give him the gun back. The inmate agreed to loan Haynes the gun. After the call, Haynes and the co-defendant met with the inmate’s brother, who gave Haynes a .45 caliber firearm. Briscoe and Haynes returned to Haynes’ apartment with the gun.
Later that night, Briscoe left Haynes’ apartment to go hang out with Jeffrey at Jeffrey’s nearby home. When Haynes woke up later, she realized that Briscoe had not returned and got upset. Between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., Haynes walked over to Jeffrey’s home and began banging on the door and yelling for Briscoe to come out. Jeffrey’s relative opened the door and told Haynes that children were in the house asleep and that Haynes should go home, which she eventually did.
As detailed during trial testimony, at approximately 7:23 a.m., Briscoe walked back from Jeffrey’s residence to Haynes’ apartment. Briscoe told Haynes that Jeffrey had shown him a large amount of heroin and that Jeffrey’s child did not feel well and had not gone to school that day. At approximately 11:41 a.m., Haynes overheard Briscoe on the phone with Jeffrey, who was talking about making breakfast for Briscoe. Briscoe retrieved the .45-caliber gun from Haynes’ bedroom and told Haynes that he was going to Jeffrey’s to get the drugs.
Briscoe returned to Haynes’ apartment and told her that Jeffrey and her child were dead and gave Haynes a bag of heroin as her “cut” of Jeffrey’s drugs. As detailed in Haynes’ plea agreement, she returned the gun to the inmate’s relative along with the heroin given to her by Briscoe, as payment for the use of the gun.
On May 28, 2015, after receiving a call for assistance, the Baltimore Police Department discovered Jeffrey and her child dead in their home.
In November 2021, co-defendant Haynes, 36, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting the use and discharge of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime and crime of violence, causing the death of Jeffrey and her 7-year-old son. Haynes is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29.
Briscoe faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and a crime of violence related to the murder of Jeffrey; a mandatory life sentence for use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and crime of violence, causing death, related to the murder of Jeffrey’s child and for killing a witness to prevent communication with law enforcement.
Briscoe also faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for the conspiracy to distribute and for possession with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett scheduled sentencing for Briscoe on Sept. 20 at 11 a.m.
Barron commended ATF, the FBI, the Baltimore Police Department, and the Cambridge Police Department for their work in the investigation. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dana J. Brusca and Paul E. Budlow, who prosecuted the case and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Abigail E. Ticse, Michael C. Hanlon and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Wilkinson for their assistance.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities and resources available to help the community, visit justice.gov/usao-md and justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.