FLINT, Mich. – Officials released a series of recorded phone calls that break down a murder-for-hire plot in which a man recruited two gunmen to travel to Flint and kill someone he believed to be responsible for murdering his “little brother,” according to authorities.
Flint man murdered
Police said the investigation started when Dennis Denard Thomas, of Flint, was shot and killed on Feb. 6.
Thomas was an associate of someone who previously lived in Flint but has been residing in Maryland for multiple years, according to authorities. That person had at least nine separate text message conversations in which he said his “little brother” had been killed, officials said.
In the criminal complaint, it’s unclear if the Maryland resident was actually related to Thomas.
The complaint says the Maryland resident agreed to pay two men to travel to Flint “in order to kill another individual who (he) believed was responsible for killing his ‘little brother.’”
Rented vehicles and text messages
Reginald L. Hunter sent a message to the Maryland resident on Feb. 7, asking him how long he would need to rent a car, authorities said. The man responded, “two weeks,” and Hunter sent him a screenshot of the Enterprise car rental website for a full-sized Chevrolet Malibu that was to be picked up in Mobile, Alabama, court records show.
The Maryland resident sent Hunter $1,000 on Feb. 11 to rent a vehicle to drive to Flint, police said. Hunter sent $500 to Julius K. Jordan, who rented a black Chevrolet Malibu LT from an Enterprise location in Mobile, the criminal complaint says.
Jordan told Hunter on Feb. 11 that he was going to buy gloves and that he had a wig, officials said. He told Hunter to bring a wig, as well, according to authorities.
While they traveled to Flint on Feb. 12, Hunter kept the Maryland resident up to date on their estimated arrival time, according to the complaint. At 10:49 p.m., Hunter told the man that they had arrived, police said.
On Feb. 13, Hunter sent the Maryland resident the location of a hotel in Flint. That man asked Hunter if he had received the money, and Hunter said, “No,” and, “Can u send us half of wat u tryna pay us cuzz we ain’t really bring no bread up here bro,” according to court records.
The Maryland man rented a white Ford 4x4 SD crew cab pickup truck from Enterprise near the Detroit Metro Airport, authorities said.
At 4:08 p.m. Feb. 14, the Malibu rented by Jordan was seen following the pickup rented by the Maryland resident near the intersection of Pierson Road and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Flint, according to officials.
The following day, Hunter texted an associate to say that he was riding in a car and had to put down his phone because “s---” was about to get “real,” the criminal complaint says.
“We started looking for (people),” Hunter texted, according to the complaint.
Guns found during traffic stop
At 10:22 p.m. Feb. 15, the Malibu and the pickup truck were seen near each other in the area of Dupont and Dewey streets in Flint, officials said. Six minutes later, about a mile away, Michigan State Police troopers pulled over the Malibu, they said.
Jordan was driving and Hunter was the front-seat passenger at the time, troopers said. When they spoke to Hunter, officials said they saw an FN Model PS90 5.7-caliber semi-automatic rifle on the floor near his feet.
A trooper said there was a .223/5.56-caliber magazine sticking out from under Jordan’s driver’s seat.
Both men were asked to exit the vehicle, police said. Officials found a Talon Armament, LLC, Model TAC-GAR15 5.56-caliber semi-automatic rifle under the driver’s seat, they said. It had a collapsible stock, according to authorities.
The FN rifle was loaded with 44 rounds of ammunition, and there was an additional round in the chamber, the criminal complaint says. The Talon Armament rifle was loaded with 39 rounds, with an additional round in the chamber, troopers said.
Immediately after the traffic stop, the Maryland resident drove past in the pickup truck and tried to reach Hunter twice via FaceTime, officials said. Hunter saw the first call immediately after being pulled over, and the second was after he had been placed in the back of a Michigan State Police patrol vehicle, according to court records.
Jordan and Hunter were both arrested on firearms charges and taken to the Flint City Lock-Up before being transferred to the Genesee County Jail, authorities said.
Both men were released from the jail on Feb. 18, pending further investigation.
Police said the short-barrel rifle under Jordan’s seat had been purchased Jan. 4, 2021, at Arimus Tactical on Hollins Ferry Road in Halethorpe, Maryland. That’s about 16 miles from where the Maryland resident linked to this case lives, according to police.
The FN Herstal rifle found near Hunter’s feet had been purchased Aug. 16, 2019, in Michigan, officials said. The dealer information revealed the weapon was bought from Michigan Police Equipment on Lansing Road in Charlotte, Michigan, court records show.
Authorities said the weapon was most recently sold to a known associate of the Maryland resident in early 2021.
Jail phone calls
The criminal complaint outlines several phone calls that were made by Hunter while he was incarcerated.
Feb. 15 call
Hunter called someone on Feb. 15 from the Flint City Lock-Up and asked them to contact the Maryland resident through his Instagram account, according to authorities.
About seven minutes and 43 seconds into the call, Hunter said the Maryland resident had been in a vehicle in front of Hunter and Jordan when they were pulled over by state troopers, the criminal complaint says.
Nine minutes into the call, Hunter said, “He gonna have to pay me regardless,” referring to the Maryland resident, officials said.
Feb. 16 call
Hunter called the same person Feb. 16 from the Genesee County Jail, police said. About seven minutes and 53 seconds into that call, Hunter asked if the person on the line had spoken with the Maryland resident. The person responded that the Maryland resident was going to get a lawyer for Hunter and Jordan, court records show.
The person speaking with Hunter said, “All I know is he better still give your a-- some m-----------’ money, too,” according to the criminal complaint.
The man also said, “I know your a-- didn’t come up there and go through all of that for nothing,” court records show. Hunter responded, “On God,” officials said.
During that same call, about 11 minutes in, Hunter said that he and Jordan had been following the Maryland resident when they got arrested, authorities said. Hunter claimed the Maryland resident did a U-turn and drove past them “looking scared as f---” while they were stopped, the criminal complaint reads.
About 13 minutes and 22 seconds into the call, Hunter said he thought the Maryland resident should still pay him and said that if he and Jordan could get a “five” or “25,” that would be decent, according to authorities.
Feb. 17 call
Hunter spoke with the same person again Feb. 17 and was told that he should still get something, “even if it wasn’t finished,” the criminal complaint reads.
About 21 minutes and 40 seconds into the call, the person on the other line told Hunter, “You did what the f--- you supposed to do. You came down there to do it, but s---, you just got stopped and went to jail. So he still owe you, your -- you know, your part,” according to court records.
Officials said that about 22 minutes and 20 seconds into the call, the person told Hunter, “That’s why -- that’s why people get paid first before they -- if somebody said they want somebody to go kill somebody, that’s they time. They gotta go scope this person out first, they gotta...”
Hunter interrupted and told the other person not to say things like that on the phone, according to authorities. Hunter said, “Just say a job. Just say a job or some s---,” court records show.
After being released from jail Feb. 18, Jordan and Hunter both attended the funeral for Thomas in Flint that same day, authorities said.
All funeral costs were paid for by the Maryland resident, and he attended all the visitations, officials said. But he left Flint before the funeral, according to the criminal complaint.
More revealed during phone call
On March 5, Jordan received a recorded jail call from an associate who is currently incarcerated in Alabama, police said. Hunter was also present and included in the call, officials said.
About one minute and 50 seconds into the call, Jordan and Hunter talked about traveling to Michigan at the direction of the Maryland resident, court records say. Jordan said the two of them “got locked up in Detroit f-----’ with” the Maryland resident, according to police.
The person on the line asked what they went to Michigan for, and Jordan said, “Man, you know the little mission, man. That n---- lil’ brother died or some s---. He called me talking about need a n---- to get down there,” the criminal complaint alleges.
About two minutes and 55 seconds into the call, Hunter said the Maryland resident was mad that his little brother had been killed, so he “made me and ‘Bug’ -- he ain’t make us, but he paid for the room and s--- for us to get down there -- but s--- didn’t go the way we wanted it to go,” court records show.
Authorities believe Hunter was referring to Jordan when he said, “Bug.”
Hunter said even though he and Jordan had been arrested, the Maryland resident would pay for the lawyer, officials said.
About four minutes and 20 seconds into the call, Hunter or Jordan said the Maryland resident told them he would “straighten us out” when things “cool off,” court records say.
“Based on the context of the entire conversation, I believe this meant that (the Maryland resident) agreed to pay Hunter and Jordan later,” the criminal complaint reads.
About nine minutes and 30 seconds into the conversation, Jordan or Hunter recalled asking the Maryland resident if he would pay them half of the money up front, but the Maryland resident had declined, saying, “I got you bro,” according to authorities.
A few seconds later, Hunter or Jordan said the Maryland resident had given them $500 when they arrived to pay for their rooms and food, officials said.
The criminal complaint concludes there is probable cause that Jordan and Hunter conspired together and with others to commit murder-for-hire.