THREE DRUG TRAFFICKING CONSPIRATORS EACH SENTENCED TO OVER 10 YEARS IN PRISON
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced three conspirators from Maryland today, who were convicted by a federal jury following a four week trial, for their participation in a conspiracy to traffic cocaine and heroin in Montgomery County, Maryland and several states.
Judge Titus sentenced Omar Steele, age 43, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, to 16 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin and five kilograms of cocaine; managing a place used to distribute and store drugs; interstate travel for narcotics activity; possession with intent to distribute heroin; and three counts of using a telephone to further a drug trafficking offense.
Judge Titus sentenced Noe Farid Medrano, age 42, of Adamstown, Maryland, to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute marijuana; and three counts of using a telephone to further a drug trafficking offense.
Judge Titus sentenced Francisco Barahona, age 35, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, to 11 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin and five kilograms of cocaine; managing a place used to distribute and store drugs; interstate travel for narcotics activity; possession with intent to distribute heroin; using a telephone to further of a drug trafficking offense; and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and a kilogram or more of heroin.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Kelly of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.
According to trial evidence, Steele obtained multiple kilograms of cocaine and heroin from his source of supply; received or brokered the distribution of 10 to 15 kilograms of heroin, and 40 to 50 kilograms of cocaine; and provided a place to use to distribute and cut the drugs.
From 2010 until his arrest on January 25, 2012, Medrano distributed approximately 3.5 kilograms of cocaine. Witnesses testified to delivering cocaine to Medrano in increments ranging from a half ounce to 18 ounces. Early on in the conspiracy, Medrano made trips to pick up the cocaine and bring it to Montgomery County, Maryland.
Starting in approximately 2010, Barahona helped transport kilograms of cocaine to Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and transported cocaine from Houston and Atlanta back to Maryland.
Barahona’s house was used by members of the conspiracy to cut and repackage kilograms of cocaine and heroin.
Some of the kilograms of drugs that arrived in Montgomery County were cut, and all of the drugs were repackaged and sold in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia and New York. The investigation ended on January 25, 2012 when agents learned that co-conspirators had traveled to Atlanta to pick up a drug. When the conspirators arrived back in Maryland at Barahona’s residence, two co-conspirators unloaded some of the kilograms into Barahona’s home. Agents executed search and arrest warrants and seized four kilograms of cocaine and two kilograms of heroin from the basement. A fifth kilogram of cocaine and a handgun were recovered from a hidden compartment in a truck used to transport the drugs from Atlanta to Maryland.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the DEA, Montgomery County Police Department and IRS - Criminal Investigation for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Deborah A. Johnston and Mara Z. Greenberg, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.