FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
April 27, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT CHARGES STEVEN BLACKWELL AND JOY EDISON IN $10 MILLION HEROIN AND MONEY LAUNDERING CONSPIRACY
Indictment Seeks Forfeiture of $10 Million
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment today charging Steven Blackwell, age 26, and Joy Edison, age 24, both of Elkton, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government. The defendants were originally indicted on the drug conspiracy charge on August 11, 2010.
The superseding indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Sparkman of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; and Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.
According to the superseding indictment, Blackwell and Edison have participated in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in Maryland, New York and the Dominican Republic since December 2003. The indictment further alleges that during the time of the conspiracy the defendants have distributed and possessed with intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin.
The superseding indictment alleges that Blackwell and Edison derived millions of dollars in income from the illegal sale of heroin in Baltimore City. In an effort to conceal the nature and the extent of the illegal income from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Blackwell and Edison engaged in financial transactions designed to prevent the IRS from properly assessing taxes due. Those financial transactions included using cash to purchase: gambling casino playing chips; winning Maryland Lottery tickets from the actual lottery winners; residences and investment properties using corporations controlled by Steven Blackwell and Joy Edison; luxury and consumer items; as well as the laundering of large sums of currency through a car dealership in return for checks issued from the dealership.
The superseding indictment also seeks forfeiture of $10 million, alleged to be the proceeds of the illegal activity, as well as any property traceable to the illegal activity, including at least eight pieces of property held in the name of JJM and J Edison, LLC, Steven Blackwell, and Joy Edison, located in Elkton and Baltimore.
Blackwell and Edison will be arraigned on the superseding indictment, but no date has been set for that hearing. Blackwell remains detained. Edison is released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorneys Tony Gioia, Michael Studdard and Tim Lake, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, the New York offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Maryland State Police for their assistance in this investigation. Mr Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys James G. Warwick and James T. Wallner, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.