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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Member of Latrobe Homes Drug Conspiracy Exiled To 10 Years in Prison

Baltimore , Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Melvin Thompson, age 31, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin as part of a drug gang in the Latrobe Homes area of East Baltimore. Judge Blake also found that Thompson is a career offender based on two previous convictions for narcotics distribution.

A total of sixty-six defendants were charged in March 2011 - 31 in federal court and 35 in state court – for dealing drugs at Latrobe Homes in East Baltimore, an area prone to violence and drug activity. The federal indictments alleged that the conspirators obtained heroin and marijuana from suppliers in New York and California, and that violent crimes were committed in furtherance of the conspiracy.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Brisolari of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.

According to Thompson’s plea agreement, from at least January 2010 through March 10, 2011, Thompson was part of a conspiracy to distribute drugs in the Latrobe Homes area of Baltimore. Thompson maintained a street-level drug distribution operation in the vicinity of 2580 East Hoffman Street. Between November 2010 and January 2011, Thompson was overheard by law enforcement making or receiving approximately 118 calls to discuss the purchase and sale of heroin.

On March 10, 2011, members of the Baltimore Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant at Thompson’s home, in the 300 block of North Calhoun Street in Baltimore and recovered a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and ammunition. Law enforcement also recovered $907 in cash, which Thompson admits was the proceeds of drug trafficking. Thompson is responsible for the distribution of between 80 and 100 grams of heroin.

All 31 federal defendants have pleaded guilty to their participation in the drug trafficking conspiracy, including Shawn Johnson, age 41, of Bronx, New York, who was sentenced to 160 months in prison; Dana Bowman, age 39 and Donald Wright, age 41; both of Baltimore, who were each sentenced to 151 months in prison; and Antonio McNeely, age 34, of Baltimore, sentenced to 136 months in prison.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the DEA, Baltimore City Police Department, and the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher M. Mason who assisted in the federal prosecution, and Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorneys Tony Gioia, Miabeth Marosy, Jeanne Canal and Anna Mantegna, who are prosecuting related state cases. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin M. Block, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

Updated January 26, 2015