Conviction In Jbm Courtroom Threat

Posted: October 14, 1989

Reputed Junior Black Mafia member Ronald "Rock" Mason yesterday was convicted of two weapons offenses for bringing a loaded semi-automatic handgun into a police station during a hearing for two alleged JBM members.

Municipal Judge Louis G. F. Retacco deferred sentence until Dec. 18 and set bail at $15,000.

Mason already is in jail under $1 million bail awaiting trial on drug charges.

Mason, 19, of Divinity Place near Greenway Avenue, was arrested June 20 in a courtroom at the police station at 17th Street and Montgomery Avenue during a recess in a preliminary hearing for reputed high-ranking JBM members Aaron Jones, 27, and Samuel "Black Sam" Brown, 26.

At the hearing, convicted drug dealer Richard Isaac refused to testify against Jones and Brown, who, he told police, were two of the three men who repeatedly shot him on a North Philadelphia street on Feb. 21. Mason, who is Brown's nephew, was sitting in the second row of the courtroom with his hand on the gun, police said.

Isaac was shot 10 times in the attack. He is paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair.

Assistant District Attorney Vincent Furlong said Mason was spotted with the weapon by police Lt. James Downs, who helped escort Isaac from the room.

Police Officer James Forbes then handcuffed Mason and pulled the weapon

from his waistband.

Charges against Jones, who has been identified as the JBM's street boss, and Brown were dismissed at the hearing because of Isaac's refusal to identify them. But they were rearrested early last month after Isaac decided to cooperate.

Both men are being held under $5 million bail.

Prior to yesterday's trial, defense attorney Edward Reif lost a motion to suppress Mason's gun, claiming it had been seized without probable cause "and without a warrant."

Furlong argued that Downs saw the gun in plain view and felt "it posed a danger to Mr. Isaac." He said Downs also was aware that there was an outstanding bench warrant for Mason.

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