Baltimore Cocaine Distributor Sentenced to over 10 Years in Prison

Distributed More Than 15 Kilograms of Cocaine in a Three Month Period

April 10, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Dante Chavez, age 38, of Baltimore, today to 121 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to his guilty plea, between April and May, 2008, Chavez was intercepted in a series of communications and telephone contacts with co-conspirators Gilbert Watkins and Mark Hawkins in which Chavez spoke about supplying kilograms of cocaine to Hawkins and then having the cocaine distributed to Watkins. Chavez referred to the kilograms in simple abbreviated terms such as “one,” “two,” and “three,” and amounts less than a kilogram in coded terms such as “Michael Vicks,” and “Apollo tickets.” On May 15, 2008, Chavez and Hawkins were intercepted in a series of conversations in which Hawkins requested that Chavez supply him with three kilograms of cocaine. Chavez advised Hawkins that his supplier would only provide two kilograms at a time and that he would order two kilograms now and another kilogram in an hour. Later that day, law enforcement agents arrested Chavez and a search warrant was executed at his home in the 6100 block of Furley Way in Baltimore. Agents recovered 297.2 grams of cocaine powder, 34.7 grams of crack cocaine and $12,500. Chavez admits that he is responsible for the distribution of between 15 and 50 kilograms of cocaine from March to May, 2008.

Gilbert Watkins, age 35 and Mark Hawkins, age 36, both of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. Watkins is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. No date has been set for Hawkins’ sentencing.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration and Baltimore County Police Department for their investigative work and commended Assistant United States Attorney Charles J. Peters, who prosecuted the case.



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