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AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
MAY 10, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLADENSBURG MAN CONVICTED ON DRUG AND WEAPONS CHARGES
GREENBELT, Maryland - Karim Mowatt, age 34, of Bladensburg, Maryland was convicted by a federal jury today of possession with intent to distribute ecstasy, being a felon in possession of a firearm, use of a firearm in connection with drug trafficking and being a violent felon in possession of body armor, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the testimony presented at trial, on November 17, 2005, officers of the Bladensburg Police Department (“BPD”) received information of loud music and a strong odor of marijuana coming from an apartment in the 5800 block of Annapolis Road in Bladensburg. Officers knocked on the door several times. Witnesses testified that Mowatt initially refused to open the door, but finally did and a strong odor of marijuana emanated from within the premises. Mowatt refused repeated commands to show his hands as he began to back into the apartment foyer towards an open bedroom door. Believing the defendant might possess a weapon, officers attempted to secure him. The defendant swung at an officer’s hand and the officers arrested Mowatt. After the arrest, officers observed a handgun, later identified as a loaded .357 caliber revolver, on the floor just inside the door of the bedroom. Mowatt attempted to escape custody, despite being handcuffed. A struggle took place in the kitchen area, during which the refrigerator door was knocked open and officers could see an open, black plastic bag containing numerous pills, later identified as1,594 ecstasy pills, in plain view in the open refrigerator/freezer. A search warrant was subsequently executed and officers recovered among other items, a number of guns, including a Norinco SKS 7.62x39 caliber semi-automatic rifle with loaded magazine; a Romarm/Cugir 7.62x39 caliber semi-automatic rifle with loaded magazine; ammunition; one set of P.A.C.A. Body Armor; 2309 grams of marijuana in various packages; the ecstasy pills; a digital scale; and $19,640 from two bags hidden within the headrest of a chair.
Mowatt was prohibited from owning firearms, ammunition or body armor due to his previous conviction for assault with a deadly weapon (gun) and concealed weapon felony in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on May 27, 1989.
Mowatt faces a maximum sentence of 38 years in prison, a mandatory minimum of five years for use of a gun in drug trafficking, and a $1.5 million fine. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for August 17, 2006. The defendant is incarcerated and will remain so pending his sentencing.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Montgomery County Police Department and the Bladensburg Police Department. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney James M. Trusty, who prosecuted the case.
This page last modifiedMay 11, 2006