Baltimore Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Distribution of Heroin
Crashed into Another Car While Fleeing from Police, Resulting in the Death of the Other Driver
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Umar Burley, age 40, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 15 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute heroin.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein;and Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.
According to Burley’s plea agreement, on April 28, 2010, Burley was parked in the 3800 block of Parkview Avenue in Baltimore. Detectives, who had received information regarding drug sales in the area, saw Brent Matthews running toward Burley’s car with money in his hand, looking around as if searching for police presence. After Matthews got into Burley’s car, detectives pulled up behind and in front of Burley’s car. The detectives got out of their cars displaying their police badges and ordered Burley to turn off his car. Instead, Burley maneuvered his car from between the two police vehicles and sped away. The officers pursued Burley, but were some distance away, since they were stopping at stop signs and Burley was not. Officers located Burley’s car at the corner of Belle and Gwynn Oak Avenues resting on a fire hydrant. Burley had struck another vehicle, sending that vehicle into the porch of a nearby house. The driver of the other vehicle died as a result of the crash and the passenger was seriously injured. When detectives arrived, they saw Burley and Matthews running away. They were caught minutes later, in the area near the crash site. Detectives searched Burley’s vehicle and recovered 28.62 grams of heroin and a digital scale on the passenger’s side floorboard of the car.
Brent Matthews, age 37, also of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to the same charge and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 16, 2011. Burley and Matthews remain detained.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant United States Attorney Christine Celeste, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney, who is prosecuting the case.