Leader of Baltimore Heroin Distribution Organization Exiled to over 12 Years in Prison

January 25, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake, sentenced Donald Wright, age 42, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 151 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin. related to the operation of a drug distribution organization in the Latrobe Homes area of East Baltimore from at least 2008 through March 2011.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.

“Mr. Wright’s drug trafficking days are over,” stated Special Agent-in-Charge Ava A. Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Washington Division. “Mr. Wright was responsible for trafficking large amounts of heroin throughout the Latrobe Homes Community of East Baltimore. This successful investigation was a combined effort between the DEA and the Baltimore Police Department,” added Cooper-Davis.

According to Wright’s guilty plea and other court documents, from June 2008, through March 2011, Wright was an upper level supplier in the heroin and marijuana distribution organization which conducted drug transactions in residential neighborhoods and other areas in Baltimore. Wright and other conspirators directed the distribution of heroin and marijuana throughout the Baltimore metro area, including East Baltimore and the Latrobe Homes area. Wright purchased significant quantities of heroin from other members of the conspiracy, as well as other suppliers, and sold quantities of heroin to mid-level dealers for further distribution. Wright also acquired marijuana for distribution from multiple sources, including from members of the conspiracy.

Law enforcement overheard conversations between Wright and other members of the conspiracy, including Dana Bowman and William Hite, during which the purchase and sale of various amounts of heroin and marijuana was discussed. For example, on January 17, 2011, law enforcement overheard conversations that two individuals had with Wright to arrange the purchase of heroin. Officers conducted surveillance at the bar where Wright agreed to meet the individuals, and stopped the individuals after they had met with Wright, recovering five grams of heroin from each individual. In addition, on February 3 and February 9, 2011, a DEA undercover agent bought 26 grams and 100 grams of heroin, respectively, from Wright.

Dana Bowman, age 39, and William Hite, age 42, both of Baltimore, have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. Bowman was sentenced to 151 months in prison and Hite is awaiting sentencing.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the DEA, Baltimore City Police Department, and the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein commended Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorneys Tony Gioia, Miabeth Marosy, Jeanne Canal and Anna Mantegna, who are prosecuting related state cases and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin M. Block and Special Assistant United States Attorney Christopher M. Mason, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to Exile cases, who prosecuted the case.

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