Annapolis man pleads Guilty to receiving Stolen Cell Phones
Baltimore, Maryland - Walter Lee Green, age 49, of Annapolis, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to receipt and possession of stolen goods from interstate carrier shipments in connection with a scheme to steal cellular telephones, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the plea agreement, on August 29, 2006, a trailer containing a shipment of Cingular Wireless cellular telephones was stolen by a white tractor from the parking lot of a freight terminal in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Cingular had placed a box within this cargo that contained a global positioning system (“GPS”) to address a rash of recent cargo thefts. Once the trailer was reported stolen, the GPS was activated and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) was provided with its coordinates. The FBI located the stolen and stationary trailer in Annapolis and observed 19 shrink-wrapped pallets of unopened cellular telephone cases, as well as one opened case of cellular telephones with several individual cellphone boxes missing, inside the trailer.
At 10:00 p.m. on August 30, 2006, a blue tractor hooked up to the stolen trailer in Annapolis and towed it to a warehouse area on Wilkens Avenue in Baltimore City. A few hours later, the trailer began to move again and stopped in Jessup, Maryland. When the GPS unit embedded in the cargo began to move again, law enforcement recovered the now-empty white trailer in Jessup while other units continued to follow the embedded GPS unit to Annapolis, where law enforcement had also located the blue and white tractors used to move the stolen trailer.
Early on August 31, 2006, law enforcement observed Walter Lee Green driving the white tractor and he was stopped for traffic infractions. During an interview Green advised that he had knowledge of a shipment of stolen cellular telephones, showing officers five stolen Cingular wireless cellular telephones in a storage compartment in the tractor. Green then took law enforcement to the warehouse space on Wilkens Avenue. Green admitted that he had been at the warehouse on the previous evening and had watched others unloading pallets of cellular phones into the space in order to store them until they could decide how to sell them for profit.
Of the 19 pallets originally stolen, authorities recovered 13, containing approximately 4,500 stolen phones. The total value of the shipment was $585,000.
Green faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for February 13, 2009 at 9:15 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Anne Arundel County Police Department for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Solette Magnelli, who is prosecuting the case.