Rap mogul stays out of jail amid heroin investigation
Detroit – A prominent Metro Detroit music mogul accused of being one of the largest heroin dealers in the Midwest and using his rap label to launder drug money remained free Wednesday after a federal judge refused to revoke his bond.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds came hours after The Detroit News chronicled an ongoing federal drug investigation targeting Brian “Peanut” Brown. The story was based on a sealed federal search warrant affidavit obtained by The News.
The 2 p.m. hearing was prompted by federal prosecutors who argued the 47-year-old Warren man was a danger to the community.
The judge met privately with Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Cares and Brown’s lawyer Steve Fishman for about 10 minutes Wednesday. Brown did not attend the brief hearing.
In open court, the judge said Brown is complying with bond conditions but she would revisit the issue June 29.
Brown, a convicted drug felon, has not been charged with a new drug crime despite a three-year investigation by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents. Investigators have seized $550,000 in cash, eight kilograms of heroin and at least one kilogram of fentanyl, a synthetic pain medication fueling the nation’s deadliest addiction crisis.
Outside court, Fishman reacted to the judge’s decision: “As The Temptations once said: ‘The further you look, the less you see.”
Brown is head of BMB Records and was indicted in March 2016 on a gun charge, two years into the sprawling federal drug investigation. He was released on bond and placed on house arrest with a GPS tether.
Two months later, while free on bond, Brown allegedly beat one of his rappers, Charli Baltimore, whose real name is Tiffany Lane-Jarmon.
“I was brutally beaten by Brown when I walked in on him with another woman,” Lane-Jarmon, 43, wrote in a court affidavit. “He choked me, blacked (sic) my eye, bruised my arm while I was still in a cast.”
In November, Edmunds gave Brown additional freedom. She removed the GPS tether, freeing him to travel for business purposes.