Kenneth Clark Pleads Guilty to Illegal Possession of Firearm and Narcotics Conspiracy
Clark Linked to a Non-Fatal Overdose and Posed with Several Firearms on Social Media; When Stopped by Police Clark Attempted to Flee
Baltimore, MD (STL.News) Kenneth Clark Jr., a/k/a “Man”, a/k/a “Play”, age 30, of Port Deposit, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to a narcotics conspiracy and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Cecil County Sheriff Scott Adams.
According to his guilty plea, on February 20, 2020, Clark and his associate (Associate 1) were stopped by a Cecil County Officer due to speeding and failing to stop at a stop sign. The officer activated his mobile video recorder, capturing video through the windshield of his patrol vehicle.
After the vehicle came to a stop, the officer observed the vehicle shake as the driver and passenger switched seats.
The officer asked both occupants to produce identification documents and vehicle registration. The driver, Associate 1, produced identification while Clark informed the officer that he did not have a license. Clark then attempted to flee the scene by grabbing the gear shifter and commanding Associate 1 to drive. However, the car did not move. At that time, the officer turned off the vehicle while Clark and Associate 1 ran on foot. The officer’s in-car video camera captured Clark holding a black semi-automatic handgun as he exited the passenger side. Associate 1 and Clark were later apprehended by law enforcement.
As stated in his plea agreement, Clark was searched subsequent to his arrest. Officers recovered $1,802 in cash on Clark’s person. The officer returned to the area where Clark threw the firearm and recovered a .22 LR handgun with 11 live rounds in the magazine Additionally, the firearm in Clark’s possession was reported stolen in February 2020. Clark knew that he was prohibited from possessing firearms due to previous felony convictions, including a 2016 conviction for second-degree assault in Cecil County Circuit Court. During the search of the vehicle, the officer recovered approximately six grams of marijuana inside the passenger’s side door and two cell phones. The officer also recovered a small plastic baggie containing approximately one gram of crack cocaine on the floorboard where Clark was seated.
According to Clark’s plea agreement, a concerned citizen contacted Maryland State Police in February 2020 to report possible cocaine transactions in Cecil County by a male nicknamed “Man”. During the investigation of a non-fatal overdose in January 2020, Maryland State Police identified Clark as the likely source of the narcotics supply leading to the overdose. Numerous messages downloaded from the victim’s cellular phone resolved to the phone number assigned to the phone in Clark’s possession at the time of his most recent arrest.
Additionally, Maryland state police recovered several photos of Clark brandishing firearms on his public social media accounts. For example, on February 13, 2020, Clark posted two public photographs holding a semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine. A subsequent review of Clark’s social media messages revealed conversations regarding narcotic transactions.
As detailed in his plea agreement, while incarcerated at the Cecil County Detention Center, Clark made several phone calls to two associates. During these conversations, Clark asked for them to retrieve several hidden items from his father’s residence. Clark also spoke in code terms while providing specific instructions on where to find the items. Over the course of the conversation, Clark instructed an associate and his father to remove potentially incriminating items from Clark’s room.
On February 28, 2020 Maryland State Police recovered a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, that matched the description of the firearm depicted in Clark’s social media pictures, during a search of an associate’s residence. The associate advised law enforcement that he obtained the firearm from Clark.
Clark and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Clark will be sentenced to 52 months in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for September 15, 2021 at 11 a.m.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the Maryland State Police Department and the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Wilkinson who is prosecuting the case.