Baltimore Heroin Dealer Exiled to over 10 Years in Prison

May 19, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Daron Ashe, age 23, of Baltimore, today to 130 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin. Judge Legg enhanced Ashe’s sentence upon finding that he is a career offender based on previous convictions for attempted first degree murder and possession with intent to distribute narcotics.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy; Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III of the Baltimore City Police Department; and Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division.

“Today’s sentencing exiles a career criminal, who felt untouchable, to prison for a long time,” stated Ava A. Cooper-Davis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Mr. Ashe will go to prison far away from his family and friends. DEA and our law enforcement partners will vigorously pursue career criminals like Mr. Ashe and lock up individuals engaged in illegal conduct,” added Cooper-Davis.

According to Ashe’s plea agreement, from May 2008 to July 2008, Ashe conspired with a number of individuals, including Johnnie Butler, to distribute heroin in and around the area of Greenmount and 29th streets in Baltimore. As frequently as once or twice a week, Ashe received and distributed packages containing approximately one to two ounces of heroin. When Ashe finished selling the heroin, he would notify his co-conspirators that he needed more product and wait to be re-supplied.

During the conspiracy, law enforcement overheard Ashe discussing and arranging transactions involving the street level distribution of heroin with his co-conspirators. Ashe admitted that he was responsible for the distribution of between three and 14 ounces of heroin.

Johnnie Butler, a/k/a “Jr.,” age 34, of Nottingham, Maryland was sentenced on April 29, 2010 to life in prison, after being convicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession of a gun by a convicted felon.

The federal prosecution was the result of a long term state wiretap investigation. United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy commended Assistant United States Attorney George J. Hazel and Special Assistant United States Attorney Christine M. Celeste, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case and Assistant State’s Attorneys Melissa Copeland, Jerry Jones and Michael Studdard, who assisted in the prosecution.


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