FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
January 8, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE AND EASTERN SHORE DRUG DEALER SENTENCED TO 17 YEARS IN PRISON FOR DISTRIBUTING COCAINE WITH A STREET VALUE
OF $1.3 MILLION
Will Forfeit Over $1.1 Million in Drug Proceeds;
Also Participated in an Identity Theft Scheme
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Anthony Wayne Ballard, a/k/a Buzzard, age 38, of Baltimore, today to 17 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of cocaine.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Philadelphia Field Office; Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III of the Baltimore City Police Department; John Kuo, Director of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration - Investigation and Security Services Division; Somerset County Sheriff Robert Jones; Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis; and Somerset County State’s Attorney Kristy Hickman.
“The significant sentence issued today, along with the substantial monetary forfeiture, send a very clear message to others that participating in the illicit drug trade does not pay,” said William Winter, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Baltimore. “ICE is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to identify, arrest and bring to justice those involved in these criminal organizations.”
According to Ballard’s guilty plea, from 2004 to 2008 Ballard sold large quantities of cocaine in the Baltimore and Eastern Shore areas of Maryland. During a search on November 24, 2004 at Ballard’s home on Shadyside Road in Baltimore, law enforcement officers recovered seven kilograms of cocaine from Ballard’s car, with an approximate street value of $175,000. Officers also recovered over $25,000 in drug cash that Ballard had stored at that location. Later that day, law enforcement searched Ballard’s residence at E.43rd Street in Baltimore, Maryland, where they recovered additional cocaine and $6,125 in drug cash possessed by Ballard.
On February 9, 2006, law enforcement officers observed Ballard meeting with other drug dealers late at night in a parking lot in Prince George's County, and saw the exchange of bags consistent with narcotics trafficking. Officers stopped Ballard and an associate as they left the location and called for a canine search of their cars. The canine alerted to the presence of narcotics in both vehicles. Law enforcement recovered $276,219 in cash from Ballard’s car and an additional $603,791 from the vehicle of Ballard’s associate. During the search, Ballard lied to the officers by identifying himself as J.L. and presenting a fraudulent Maryland driver's license bearing the name of J.L.
Ballard also admitted that between December 2005 and October 2007, he conspired with others to knowingly and without lawful authority, produce and transfer Maryland driver license learner permits, driver licenses, and personal identification cards. In doing so, the conspirators used their own names and identification information, as well as using the names, social security numbers and dates of birth of other individuals, without their knowledge. As part of the conspiracy, Ballard had phone and in-person contact with a co-conspirator who was a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration ("MVA") employee. Ballard paid the co-conspirator for four unlawfully produced Maryland identification documents: (1) a Maryland driver's license in the name JBL on December 27, 2005; (2) a Maryland commercial driver license learner's permit in the name Anthony Ballard on August 25, 2006; (3) a Maryland commercial driver's license in the name Anthony Ballard on December 8, 2006; and (4) a Maryland driver's license in the name MAS on June 10, 2006.
On January 8, 2008, law enforcement arrested Ballard and recovered additional drug proceeds, including $83,554. Ballard was also arrested with one of the fraudulent identification cards used in this case. Ballard admits that he sold over 50 kilograms of cocaine in Maryland.
As part of his plea agreement Ballard will forfeit $1,135,678.59 in drug proceeds seized during this investigation.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kwame J. Manley and Harry M. Gruber, who prosecuted the case.