Organization Member and Associate Sentenced

East Baltimore Monument Street Drug Trafficking Organization Member and Associate Sentenced to Federal Prison

Over the Course of the Investigation, Law Enforcement Seized Kilo Quantities of Drugs, Loaded Guns, and More Than $535,781 in Drug Proceeds

Baltimore, MD (STL.News) U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander today sentenced George Drummond, age 51, of Baltimore, to four years in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine in the Monument Street area of East Baltimore, and for possession with intent to distribute cocaine.  On July 13, 2021, Judge Hollander sentenced co-defendant Ricardo Simon, age 41, also of Baltimore, to 42 months in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release for the conspiracy.

The sentences were announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

“The Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force is a critical part of our strategy to make Baltimore safer by identifying and focusing on those groups responsible for the most violent crime in our city,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner.  “The Monument Street area is one of the first areas the Strike Force has targeted and we anticipate that Strike Force cases will make these neighborhoods safer for the law-abiding citizens that live there.”

According to their guilty pleas, in July of 2018, Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) Strike Force Group 1 began an investigation of the Monument Street corridor in East Baltimore, which is known to support a high volume of street-level drug distribution and acts of violence associated with the drug trafficking.  During the investigation, law enforcement identified multiple street-level drug trafficking “shops,” with the two most prominent located in the 400 block of North Montford Avenue at Jefferson Street (“the Montford DTO”) and in the 2400 block of East Monument Street at Port Street (the “Out the Mud,” or “OTM DTO”).

As detailed in their plea agreements, investigators identified Tony Solomon as a source of supply in the conspiracy and Drummond as Solomon’s associate.  Simon was identified as a drug distributor for the OTM DTO.  Drummond was responsible for packaging controlled dangerous substances as well as maintaining a stash location of controlled dangerous substances for members of the conspiracy, to include cocaine.

Specifically, Drummond admitted that he maintained a stash house at his residence in the 3200 block of Brighton Street in Baltimore, which he and his co-conspirators used for storing, cutting, and packaging drugs, as well as to meet with customers and conduct drug transactions.  According to his plea agreement, on behalf of Solomon, Drummond delivered cocaine every two weeks from July 2018 to January 2019, to a co-conspirator to “cook” the powder cocaine into crack cocaine.

On January 23, 2019, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Drummond’s residence and recovered: a firearm; 147 grams of a mixture containing fentanyl and heroin; one large and one small kilo press containing cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl; cutting agents and bags of gelatin capsules.  Throughout the course of his involvement, it was reasonably foreseeable to Drummond, and within the scope of the conspiracy that he or other members of the conspiracy would distribute at least 3.5 kilograms but less than 5 kilograms of cocaine, as well as quantities of fentanyl and heroin, during the course of and in furtherance of the conspiracy.

According to Simon’s plea agreement, Simon engaged in multiple phone calls and other electronic communications with other members of the conspiracy during which they discussed the distribution of controlled substances, to including cocaine.  Throughout the course of his involvement, it was reasonably foreseeable to Simon, and within the scope of the conspiracy that he or other members of the conspiracy would distribute at least 200 grams of cocaine, during the course of and in furtherance of the conspiracy.

Of the 25 defendants indicted in this case, 22—including Simon and Drummond—have pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial.  On March 4, 2021, Judge Hollander sentenced Tony Solomon, age 55, of Baltimore, to 10 years in federal prison for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.  The remaining defendants have trial dates in November 2021.

This prosecution was brought as a part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Co-located Strike Forces Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location.  This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations against a continuum of priority targets and their affiliate illicit financial networks.

These prosecutor-led co-located Strike Forces capitalize on the synergy created through the long-term relationships that can be forged by agents, analysts, and prosecutors who remain together over time, and they epitomize the model that has proven most effective in combating organized crime.  The specific mission of the Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force is to reduce violent, drug-related, and gang crime in the Baltimore area and surrounding region.

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the DEA and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys LaRai Everett and James T. Wallner, who are prosecuting the case.

SOURCE: USDOJ.Today

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