Baltimore Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute 40 Kilograms of Cocaine

90 Pounds of Cocaine Concealed in Truck

July 7, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland - Trenell David Murphy, age 34, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to possession with intent to distribute cocaine, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

“Because of the federal mandatory minimum sentence, a drug dealer like Trenell Murphy must serve at least ten years in federal prison with no probation and no parole,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “That 90 pounds of cocaine would have been worth millions of dollars on the streets of Baltimore.”

“This case is important on many levels in that it gets to the root of one of the city's major crime problems and takes a considerable amount of cocaine off city streets,” said Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld, Baltimore Police Department.

According to the plea agreement, on February 19, 2009, Baltimore Police detectives set up surveillance in the vicinity of 3041 Presstman Street, based on information that a narcotics trafficker was using that location as a base of operations. Detectives observed a black Chevy truck and blue Honda minivan, both registered to Trenell David Murphy parked near the house and also saw Murphy come out of the house, go to the front seat of the minivan and return to the house.

Later that evening, a man met Murphy at the house and a short time later the two left, each carrying a white plastic trash bag tied off at the top and appearing to be full. The first man put the bag he was carrying into his car, and Murphy put the other bag into the bed of the black Chevy truck. They drove separately from the area, followed by detectives. Murphy and the other driver eventually pulled over in separate locations, discarded the bags that they had been carrying in the street and drove away. Detectives recovered the bags, which contained packaging material and other drug paraphernalia consistent with the wholesale distribution of drugs.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the house on Presstman Street, which was executed at approximately 1:45 a.m. on February 20, 2009. Murphy was taken into custody. After being advised of his rights, Murphy told the detectives that he had money in his room but there were no narcotics in the house. When Murphy was asked if he had any vehicles near the house, Murphy stated that he had a Honda minivan parked in front of the house but no other vehicles. Detectives asked Murphy directly about the black Chevrolet truck, which Murphy denied knowing anything about, but detectives located keys to the truck in the room where Murphy was found.

The police looked under the cover of the bed of the Chevy truck and observed 40 kilogram bricks of cocaine, wrapped up in material identical to what had been seized from the plastic bags discarded earlier by Murphy and the other man.

Murphy faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. Chief U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg has scheduled sentencing for October 2, 2009 at 10:30 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Baltimore City Police Department for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Philip S. Jackson, who is prosecuting the case.



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