FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
APRIL 13, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DRUG CONSPIRATORS SENTENCED TO 30 AND 25 YEARS
Over 184 Kilograms of Cocaine Distributed
in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Area
GREENBELT, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced William L. Handy, Jr., age 43, of Redondo Beach, California, today to 30 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and Christopher A. Hall, age 44, of Brandywine, Maryland, to 25 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, arising from their convictions at trial by a federal jury of conspiracy to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; and the use of a telephone in furtherance of a narcotics offense, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Williams found that Handy perjured himself during trial and that he was an organizer/leader of the drug organization.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein stated, “This case demonstrates that the federal government will use all the tools at our disposal to prosecute people who bring illegal drugs and violence into our neighborhoods.”
Special Agent in Charge William D. Chase, of the Baltimore office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, praised the United States Attorney's Office for pursuing this case stating, "Because the United States Attorney’s Office remained persistent, Mr. Hall and Mr. Handy will no longer be able to subject the citizens of Maryland to their drug dealing."
Testimony presented during the one week trial in January, 2007 showed that from the fall of 2000 through April 2001, the defendants arranged for the sale of large quantities of cocaine. Both the drugs and the money paid by customers for the drugs were packaged in airtight food saver bags using a food saver machine in order to prevent drug sniffing dogs from detecting the operation’s activities. Initially, Handy cocaine to Hall for distribution in the Washington, D.C. area. By the end of 2000, Handy arranged for a co-conspirator to deliver the cocaine from California to the Washington, D.C. area using a minivan equipped with a hidden compartment. The minivan made four trips in the beginning of 2001 with multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine from California to Washington, D.C., and two trips from California to Columbus, Ohio. On April 11, 2001, agents stopped the minivan in Frederick, Maryland, arrested the driver and seized 33 kilograms of cocaine worth over $600,000 from the secret compartment. Handy was arrested when he arrived in Frederick to pick up the van. Hall fled the area and was arrested 10 days later.
The following individuals have also been convicted or sentenced in related cases. On February 26, 2007, Stevie Burton, age 43, of Forestville, Maryland, was sentenced to 352 months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release for carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. On September 18, 2006, Baron Watkins, age 42, of Suitland, Maryland was sentenced to 188 months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to participating in the narcotics conspiracy. On May 12, 2006, Anthony Jones, age 36, of Forestville, Maryland, was sentenced to 135 months followed by 5 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to participating in the narcotics conspiracy. On April 14, 2006, Issac Belt, age 26, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was sentenced to 151 months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to related narcotics charges.
Richard Briscoe, age 40, of Laurel, Maryland was convicted of drug conspiracy on February 28, 2007. Briscoe faces a maximum penalty of life in prison, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and a $4 million fine, followed by five years of supervised release. Judge Williams has scheduled sentencing for Briscoe on May 18, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. Charles Evans Ray, age 47, of Fort Washington, Maryland, was convicted after a February 27 jury trial of possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and felony gun charges. Because of two prior drug convictions, Ray faces a mandatory life sentence when he is sentenced by Judge Williams on May 7, 2007 at 1:45 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Del Wright, who prosecuted the case.