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January 19, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEMBER OF RICE BROTHERS DRUG GANG SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR DRUG CONSPIRACY
BALTIMORE, Maryland - Michael Felder, age 41, of Cockeysville, Maryland was sentenced today to 10 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, in connection with his participation over a 10-year period in a large narcotics-trafficking enterprise operated in Baltimore by brothers Howard and Raeshio Rice, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. also ordered Felder to pay a $1,000 fine.
According to the plea agreement provided to the court, from 1995 to 2005, Felder conspired with the Rice brothers and others to distribute cocaine at a variety of locations in the northwest areas of Baltimore City. Felder owned and operated a shop called “the Wheel Deal” where several drug transactions occurred. During Felder’s participation in the conspiracy, the organization distributed more than 150 kilograms of cocaine.
Of the 13 defendants charged, 12 have pleaded guilty to racketeering or drug conspiracy charges, including Howard Rice, age 40, of Baltimore, who pleaded guilty to racketeering, racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute heroin, and was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison; and Raeshio Rice, age 34, of Baltimore, who was sentenced on January 8, 2007 to 27 years in prison for racketeering and 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.
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. U.S. Attorney Rosenstein thanked 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 modifiedJanuary 19, 2007