Houston Drug Lord Found Guilty on Multiple Violent Crimes Related to Trafficking and Murder-for-Hire

Houston Drug Lord Found Guilty on Multiple Violent Crimes Related to Trafficking and Murder-for-Hire

A federal jury in Houston has convicted a 50-year-old Houston man, Ronald Brown, also known as Nuk, Nook, or Nookie, on multiple violent crimes related to a drug trafficking conspiracy, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

After six hours of deliberation, the jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts against Ronald Brown following a six-day trial. Brown was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder for hire, intentional killing related to drug trafficking, two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a murder, kidnapping, using a firearm in relation to the kidnapping, as well as conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine.

Brown, who operated a cocaine trafficking business, was responsible for moving substantial quantities of cocaine from Houston to Atlanta, Georgia, using 18-wheeler trucks and car haulers. In December 2013, law enforcement seized 21 kilograms of cocaine from one of Brown’s associates, who had placed the drugs in a vehicle at a Valero gas station. Brown was displeased with the loss and sidelined the associate from the drug operation.

During the trial, the jury heard testimony from one of Brown’s drivers who was robbed of approximately 56 kilograms of cocaine on April 18, 2014. Brown suspected that the same individual who lost the drugs at the Valero and another drug associate had conspired to steal the cocaine from him.

On April 23, 2014, Brown and his associates kidnapped one of the suspects, restrained him with zip ties, and placed him in the trunk of Brown’s girlfriend’s vehicle. A good Samaritan later picked up the victim and tried to drive him to safety after he managed to free himself from the trunk. However, Brown pursued and fired multiple shots at them, injuring both individuals.

Following this failed attempt, Brown began searching for the other man involved in the Valero incident, whom he believed was part of the alleged theft. Brown ultimately decided to hire a shooter to kill him. The shooter fired multiple shots at close range at the victim on July 1, 2014, following a parole visit, resulting in the victim’s death.

The defense attempted to argue that other members of Brown’s drug trafficking organization had orchestrated the kidnapping and murder, but the jury found Brown guilty as charged.

Senior U.S. District Judge Sim Lake presided over the trial and scheduled Brown’s sentencing for January 29, 2024, at which time he will face life in a federal prison. Brown will remain in custody pending the sentencing hearing.