FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
October 19, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEADERS OF RICE DRUG GANG FACE DECADES IN PRISON FOR
CONVICTIONS ON RACKETEERING AND DRUG CONSPIRACY CHARGES
U.S. Attorney Calls on Drug Dealers to Give Up "Gangster Lifestyle" Before it is Too Late
BALTIMORE, Maryland - Howard Rice, age 40, and Raeshio Rice, age 33, both of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to racketeering conspiracy and drug conspiracy charges arising from their operation of a large narcotics-trafficking enterprise in Baltimore over a 10-year period, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. In addition, Howard Rice pleaded guilty to racketeering and conspiracy to distribute heroin.
Keenan Dorsey, age 40, of Baltimore, Maryland, also pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute heroin. He faces a maximum sentence of 40 years imprisonment.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein stated, “The Rice brothers lived the gangster lifestyle for a few years and now they will pay the price for the rest of their lives. Other Baltimore drug dealers should stop now instead of following in Howard and Raeshio's footsteps to federal prison. Drugs and guns always lead to misery and regret. Federal and local law enforcement officials are working together to exile dangerous drug dealers to federal prisons far from home."
“The IRS plays a unique role in federal law enforcement's counter-drug effort. We target the profit and financial gains of narcotics traffickers which comprise a significant portion of the untaxed underground economy,” said Francis L. Turner, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation.
The Rice brothers were charged, along with 11 others, in an indictment filed in February 2005 with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy, several acts of violence, and other offenses relating to the operation of their narcotics-trafficking enterprise.
According to the statement of facts provided to the court as part of the plea agreement, from 1995 through 2004, the Rice brothers conspired with others to operate a racketeering enterprise (the “Rice Organization”) responsible for the distribution of large quantities of cocaine
and heroin in northwest Baltimore City, as well as multiple contract murders. The Rice Organization obtained the cocaine from suppliers in California and New York and the heroin from suppliers in New York and elsewhere and distributed it to their customers in Baltimore. The Rice brothers admitted that their organization was responsible for the distribution of more than 150 kilograms of cocaine and more than 30 kilograms of heroin in the Baltimore area. The locations used by the Rices and their co-conspirators to conduct their drug operations included a car wash on Quantico Avenue and the Red Door Lounge, owned by Howard Rice and one of his co-conspirators.
The Rice brothers used the proceeds of their drug transactions to purchase property, jewelry, a Sea Ray boat, and luxury automobiles, including a Ferrari, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, two BMWs, a Cadillac, a Bentley and several motorcycles, which have been forfeited or which they have agreed to forfeit as part of their plea agreements.
The Rice Organization preserved its power, territory and profits and retaliated against rival drug organizations through the use of intimidation, violence and threats of violence. The specific acts of violence that are cited in the indictment as part of the racketeering conspiracy include the December 16, 1996 murder of Dante Green, the December 27, 1996 attempted murder of Dennis Smith, and the June 22, 2003 murder of Marvin Nutter.
Of the 13 defendants charged, 12 have now pleaded guilty to racketeering or drug conspiracy charges. Eric Hall, age 35, also of Baltimore, alleged to be a “hitman” for the Rice Organization, is charged with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, cocaine conspiracy, heroin conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime resulting in death. Hall faces a maximum penalty of death. His trial is scheduled for October 1, 2007.
After accepting the guilty pleas, United States District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Howard Rice to 30 years in federal prison followed by 10 years of supervised release. Judge Quarles has scheduled Raeshio Rice’s sentencing for January 8, 2007. Keenan Dorsey’s sentencing is set for March 16, 2007.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Baltimore City Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division, the State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore City and the United States Attorney’s Office. We would also like to thank the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Central District of California and the Southern District of New York, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York, Los Angeles and Lubbock, Texas offices, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Los Angeles office for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein also commended Assistant United States Attorneys Steven H. Levin and Jason M. Weinstein, who are prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedOctober 19, 2006