Baltimore Area Cocaine Dealers Sentenced
August 9 (BALTIMORE, MD) - U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Lawrence Lee Hayes, 39, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 15 years in prison and sentenced co-defendant Bryan Eammon Williams, 35, also of Baltimore, to 135 months in prison, each followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
The sentence was announced by Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Washington Field Division; United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Police Commissioner Anthony Barksdale of the Baltimore City Police Department; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jim Hite of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.
“This is drug interdiction at its best. Quick and effective cooperation between our domestic offices and by our law enforcement partners put an end to both Mr. Hayes’ and Mr. Williams’ smuggling business,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Ava A. Cooper-Davis. “This investigation took a lot of cocaine off the streets; cocaine which was secreted in a load of strawberries was seized by good old fashion police work,” added Cooper-Davis.
“IRS Criminal Investigation plays a unique role in federal law enforcement's counter-drug efforts. IRS-CI specializes in targeting the profit and financial gains of narcotic traffickers, which comprises a significant portion of the untaxed underground economy,” said Jim Hite, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation Washington DC Field Office. “IRS-CI will continue to provide financial expertise on narcotic investigations, enabling increased criminal prosecutions and asset forfeitures.”
According to the statement of facts in Hayes’ guilty plea, from August 2010, through May 2011, Hayes was a member of a cocaine-trafficking organization in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Hayes and his co-conspirators, including Williams, conspired to obtain large quantities of cocaine from sources of supply in California and ship the cocaine to Maryland. Once in Maryland, the cocaine was processed and packaged by Hayes and his co-conspirators for distribution in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
According to Williams’ plea agreement, on April 3, 2011, while Williams was a member of the cocaine-trafficking organization, Illinois State Troopers stopped a tractor trailer truck on I-70 for speeding. Officers searched the trailer and discovered approximately 136 kilograms of cocaine inside ten black bags. The cocaine had an approximate wholesale value of $4,060,000, and an approximate street value of $13.6 million.
The truck driver advised that the cocaine was loaded on the truck in California, and that Williams assisted in loading the cocaine. The driver was scheduled to deliver the bags of cocaine to Williams in Jessup, Maryland, and was to receive approximately $200,000 for transporting the cocaine. The driver provided a telephone number for Williams, which was identified by law enforcement as contacting Hayes on a court-authorized wiretap.
On April 4, 2011 a controlled delivery was initiated between the driver and Williams. Williams arrived at the designated meeting place and met with the driver. Williams and the driver then entered Williams’s car and attempted to drive away, but were stopped by law enforcement. Williams was arrested and $269,000 in cash was seized from the trunk of Williams’s vehicle. The cocaine packaging was submitted for fingerprint testing, and Williams’s fingerprints were present on the packaging.Hayes and Williams admitted that they were responsible for the distribution of between 50 and 150 kilograms of cocaine in furtherance of the conspiracy.