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January 14, 2010

BOSTON, MA - A New Bedford man was convicted late yesterday in federal court of conspiring to distribute almost 400 grams of crack cocaine, as well as possessing a handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Division; Glenn N. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Boston Field Division; John Gibbons, United States Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter; Colonel Marian J. McGovern Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Chief Ronald Teachman of the New Bedford Police Department announced that TERRELL BAPTISTE, age 24, of New Bedford, pled guilty late yesterday before U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro to conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base, possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base within 1000 feet of a school and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

At the plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that on March 18, 2008, BAPTISTE was found by agents and officers in an apartment at 8 Jean Street, Apartment 3S, in New Bedford. Pursuant to a search warrant, officers found 399 grams of crack cocaine, a .40 caliber firearm loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition, 511 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition, two safes, over $5,600 in cash, a police scanner, a scale and packaging materials. The investigation revealed that BAPTISTE had been using the apartment to sell drugs for several months leading up to his arrest. According to an affidavit previously filed in the case, BAPTISTE is alleged to be a member of the United Front street gang, a violent New Bedford street gang.

Judge Tauro scheduled sentencing for April 7, 2010. Pursuant to a plea agreement between the government and the defendant, BAPTISTE will be sentenced to 15 years in prison, to be followed by 8 years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the New Bedford Police Department, United States Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Massachusetts State Police and the FBI Southeastern Massachusetts Gang Task Force, which is comprised of agents from the FBI, the State Police, the Massachusetts Parole Board, and the New Bedford Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Pohl of Ortiz’s Organized Crime Strike Force Unit.


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