Baltimore Career Criminal Exiled to 15 Years in Prison for Illegal Possession of a Gun

September 3, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Kenneth Lee, age 30, of Baltimore today to 15 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Blake enhanced Lee’s sentence upon finding that he was an armed career criminal, based on two previous convictions for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and a burglary conviction.

According to his guilty plea, on November 15, 2007, officers with the Baltimore Police Department were patrolling in an unmarked car in the area of Baltimore Street and Highland Avenue in Baltimore City, Maryland and saw Kenneth Lee approaching and speaking to passing pedestrians and the pedestrians shaking their heads in response, which led the officers to believe that Lee was attempting to sell drugs to those passing by. Officers got out of their car and attempted to approach Lee, announcing that they were police. Lee fled into a bar directly behind where he had been standing, followed by the officers, who saw Lee toss two objects to the floor. One officer arrested Lee, while another recovered a cell phone and a clear plastic bag containing 45 clear ziplock bags and 17 black ziplock bags filled with crack cocaine that Lee had tossed. Officers searched Lee and recovered $378 and a key ring with a car key and remote alarm. Using the remote alarm on the key ring, they found the car to which the key belonged approximately two and a half blocks away from where they had first seen Lee attempting to sell drugs.

After locating the car, an officer saw packages of small ziplock bags commonly used to package narcotics on the front passenger’s seat. An officer from the Baltimore Police Department Canine Unit arrived at the scene with a canine certified to detect explosives, including gunpowder and the canine alerted at the seam of the driver’s side door.

Officers then used the key recovered from Lee to open the car door and recovered two packages of small ziplock bags from the front passenger’s seat and a loaded, .40 caliber Beretta semi-automatic handgun, from under an armrest between the front seats.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and Assistant State’s Attorney Shawn Horton the Baltimore Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Cheryl L. Crumpton, who prosecuted the case.


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