FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
April 27, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“WISE GUYZ” CUMBERLAND GANG MEMBER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOR DRUG AND GUN OFFENSES
Officers in Allegany County Seized 12 Firearms, Including Loaded Submachine Guns,and at Least 40 Marijuana Plants Grown in a Garage
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Benjamin Lee, age 25, of Cumberland, Maryland today to 15 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, and possession of a gun in furtherance of drug trafficking.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Allegany County State’s Attorney Michael O. Twigg; Cumberland Police Chief Charles H. Hinnant; Frostburg Police Chief William Evans, Jr.; Frostburg University Chief of Police Cindy R. Smith; Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Allegany County Bureau of Police Chief J. Robert Dick.
According to Lee’s plea agreement, Lee and his associates from Cumberland called themselves the “Wise Guyz.” On September 19, 2009 Lee traded crack cocaine for a handgun. Two days later on September 21, the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigations Unit served search warrants on four locations in Cumberland used by Lee, Andrew Delawder and his conspirators to store and manufacture drugs, and to store guns. From a garage at 1400 Old Oldtown Road, officers seized a loaded handgun, two loaded submachine guns and a shotgun. The second level of the garage was converted to grow at least 40 marijuana plants using artificial light, controlled temperature, and ventilation and irrigations systems. From two other locations, officers seized eight more firearms, bags of marijuana and cocaine, oxycodone pills, hydrocodone pills, a digital scale and $14,249.
Lee’s mother and girlfriend, along with Andrew Delawder, age 27, pleaded guilty to their participation in the drug scheme. Delawder has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended ATF, the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office; the Cumberland Police Department; the Frostburg Police Department, the Maryland State Police; the Allegany County Bureau of Police; and the Frostburg University Police for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked the Allegany Combined County Criminal Investigations (C3I), for their assistance in this investigation and prosecution, and Assistant United States Attorney Peter M. Nothstein, who prosecuted the case.