FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
APRIL 5, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBIA MAN SENTENCED TO 9 YEARS AFTER CONCEALING HEROIN IN PUZZLE PIECES
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Calvin Mcrae, age 38, of Columbia, Maryland yesterday to nine years in prison followed by three years of supervised release after Mcrae pleaded guilty to attempted possession with intent to distribute heroin, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the statement of facts presented to the court at his guilty plea, Customs and Border Protection Officers in Miami, Florida selected for inspection a parcel arriving on an inbound flight from Colombia on August 9, 2006. They found four cardboard jigsaw puzzles, which seemed unusually thick. The agents cut open one of the puzzles pieces, which revealed a thin plastic bag containing 354 grams of heroin concealed in carbon paper. The package, while addressed to Mcrae’s apartment in Columbia, Maryland, listed another individual as the addressee. The shipper was listed as an individual from Cali, Colombia.
On August 14, 2006 an undercover Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent posing as delivery man, delivered the parcel to Mcrae outside his apartment. Mcrae signed for the package, using a name other than his own. Prior to delivery, almost all of the heroin had been removed from the parcel. Later that day Mcrae was arrested at his apartment, after he had opened the parcel. ICE agents seized the parcel, as well as a .44 caliber revolver and a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun. They also seized a loaded .9mm caliber handgun from the center console of Mcrae’s car. Inside Mcrae’s apartment agents also recovered ammunition, money, a ledger detailing payments, foreign telephone numbers, 140 grams of suspected marijuana, mannitol and quinine (powders commonly used to “cut” heroin”), scales and 72 glass vials. The agents also observed in plain view on the bed a package addressed to108 Mill Street, Brooklyn, New York. ICE agents knew from the investigation that a parcel addressed to the same location, 108 Mill Street, Brooklyn, New York, had been previously seized in May 2004, by U.S. Customs and found to contain 458 grams of heroin.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Agency, and commended Assistant United States Attorney Christopher J. Romano, who prosecuted the case.