HOUSTON – A federal grand jury has returned a seven-count
indictment against two men allegedly responsible for the killing of a man as he
sat in his car outside a Houston parole office, announced Acting U.S. Attorney
Abe Martinez and Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the
Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Ronald Donell Brown aka Dorsey Robinson or Nook or
Nookie, 44, and Clyde Williams aka Pete, 50, both of Houston, are charged with
conspiracy to commit murder for hire, intentional killing related to drug
trafficking and two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a murder.
David Roberts aka Cuz, 42, of Houston, is also named in the indictment and
charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with the
intent to distribute cocaine. Brown is also charged in that count in addition
to kidnapping and using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.
The indictment alleges that on July 1, 2014, Marcus Celestine
had a pre-arranged meeting with his parole officer in Houston. Shortly
thereafter, he was shot numerous times as he sat in the driver’s seat of his
vehicle in the parking lot, according to the charges.
The murder for hire conspiracy allegedly began after the
victim and another individual were believed to have stolen cocaine from a
member of Brown’s drug organization. Roberts and others regularly transported large quantities of cocaine for
Brown, driving from Houston to Atlanta on a weekly basis, according to the
indictment. In April 2014, Roberts received two duffle bags filled with
cocaine. Soon after, he was allegedly robbed.
Brown believed Celestine and another individual were
responsible for the robbery and he assembled a plan to kill them, according to
the indictment. On April 23, 2014, Brown and others allegedly kidnapped the
other individual, zip-tied his arms and legs and put him in the trunk of a car.
While being transported, the victim was able to break free, open the trunk and
jump out of the vehicle. According to the indictment, a good Samaritan saw him,
picked him up and attempted to drive him to safety. However, Brown allegedly
pursued them and eventually shot at them repeatedly, ultimately striking the
good Samaritan in the upper body and the victim in the head. Both men survived
The indictment further alleges that following this failed
attempt, Brown turned his attention to Celestine. Brown allegedly hired
Williams to kill Celestine and provided him a firearm. Brown was able discover
that Celestine was to meet with his parole officer on July 1, 2014, and
informed Williams, according to the charges. Following that meeting, Celestine
returned to his vehicle in the parking lot, at which time Williams allegedly
fired multiple shots, some at close range. Celestine died at the scene.
Brown and Williams could potentially face the death
penalty. For his role in the drug conspiracy, Roberts faces up to life in
prison, if convicted.
This case is an example of coordination between law enforcement
who are part of the Houston Law Enforcement Violent Crime Initiative<https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/authorities-announce-initiative-targeting-houston-violent-offenders>
announced in June 2017 which combines personnel and resources from numerous
federal, state and local agencies. The goal of the initiative is to proactively
fight and reduce violent crime across the Greater Houston area by targeting the
region’s most violent offenders, augmenting investigative and prosecutorial
efforts, and enhancing training, public awareness and education.
The FBI, Houston Police Department’s Homicide and Major
Offenders Division, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, U.S. Bureau of
Prisons, U.S. Marshals Service and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted
the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steve Mellin and Sebastian Edwards
are prosecuting the case along with Trial Attorney Teresa Polinske of the
Department of Justice’s Capital Case Section.