FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
May 31, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEMBER OF LATROBE HOMES EAST BALTIMORE DRUG GANG
EXILED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON
69 Defendants Were Charged in March 2011 in State and Federal Court
for Dealing Drugs at Latrobe Homes
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Armond Dowdell, age 39, of Baltimore, today to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute up to 50 kilograms of marijuana and being a felon in possession of a gun, as part of a drug gang in the Latrobe Homes area of East Baltimore. Judge Blake enhanced Dowdell’s sentence upon determining that he is a career offender based on two previous drug convictions. The case was one of the largest prosecutions ever pursued in Maryland jointly by local, state and federal agencies.
Sixty-nine defendants were charged in March 2011 – 29 in federal court and 40 in state court – for dealing drugs at Latrobe Homes in East Baltimore, an area prone to violence and drug activity. The federal indictment 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; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.
Dowdell pleaded guilty on the eve of his trial. According to his guilty plea, from May 2010 to March 2011, Dowdell stashed and distributed marijuana at his residence in the Latrobe Homes area of East Baltimore, on behalf of co-defendant Dana Bowman. Bowman arranged to have packages of high-grade marijuana shipped from Oregon by UPS to Baltimore. Dowden, Bowman and others then distributed the marijuana on the streets of Baltimore. Law enforcement overheard calls in which Dowden and Bowman discussed the sale of drugs, as well as police presence in the neighborhood.
On March 10, 2011, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Dowden’s residence and seized a loaded .44 caliber revolver, three boxes of ammunition and 667 grams of marijuana, packaged both in bulk and for individual sale. Dowden had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from possessing a gun.
During the conspiracy, Dowdell conspired with others to sell between 40 and 50 kilograms of marijuana.
Sixteen defendants have pleaded guilty to their participation in the drug trafficking conspiracy, including Dana Bowman, age 39, and Donald Wright, age 41, both of Baltimore; and Shawn Johnson, age 41, of Bronx, New York. Johnson was sentenced to 160 months in prison. Bowman and Wright were sentenced to 151 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.