Baltimore and Eastern Shore Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty to Distributing Cocaine with a Street Value of $1.3 Million
Will Forfeit Over $1.1 Million in Drug Proceeds;
Admits to Participating in an Identity Theft Scheme
Baltimore, Maryland - Anthony Wayne Ballard, a/k/a Buzzard, age 38, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of cocaine, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his guilty plea, from 2004 to 2008 Ballard sold large quantities of cocaine in the Baltimore and Eastern Shore areas of Maryland. During a search on November 24, 2004 at Ballard’s home on Shadyside Road in Baltimore law enforcement officers recovered seven kilograms of cocaine from Ballard’s car, with an approximate street value of $175,000. Officers also recovered over $25,000 in drug cash that Ballard had stored at that location. Later that day, law enforcement searched Ballard’s residence at E.43rd Street in Baltimore, Maryland, where they recovered additional cocaine and $6,125 in drug cash possessed by Ballard.
On February 9, 2006, law enforcement officers observed Ballard meeting with other drug dealers late at night in a parking lot in Prince George's County, and saw the exchange of bags consistent with narcotics trafficking. Officers stopped Ballard and an associate as they left the location and called for a canine search of their cars. The canine alerted to the presence of narcotics in both vehicles. Law enforcement recovered $276,219 in cash from Ballard’s car and an additional $603,791 from the vehicle of Ballard’s associate. During the search, Ballard lied to the officers by identifying himself as J.L. and presenting a fraudulent Maryland driver's license bearing the name of J.L.
Ballard also admits that between December 2005 and October 2007, he conspired with others to knowingly and without lawful authority, produce and transfer Maryland driver license learner permits, driver licenses, and personal identification cards. In doing so, the conspirators used their own names and identification information, as well as using the names, social security numbers and dates of birth of other individuals, without their knowledge. As part of the conspiracy, Ballard had phone and in-person contact with a co-conspirator who was a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration ("MVA") employee, Ballard paid the co-conspirator for four unlawfully produced Maryland identification documents: (1) a Maryland driver's license in the name JBL on December 27, 2005; (2) a Maryland commercial driver license learner's permit in the name Anthony Ballard on August 25, 2006; (3) a Maryland commercial driver's license in the name Anthony Ballard on December 8, 2006; and (4) a Maryland driver's license in the name MAS on June 10, 2006.
On January 8, 2008, law enforcement arrested Ballard and recovered additional drug proceeds, including $83,554. Ballard was also arrested with one of the fraudulent identification cards used in this case. Ballard admits that he sold over 50 kilograms of cocaine in Maryland.
As part of his plea agreement Ballard will forfeit over $1,135,600 in drug proceeds seized during this investigation.
Ballard faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for January 8, 2009 at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Baltimore City Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration - Investigation and Security Services Division, the Somerset County and Wicomico County Sheriff’s Offices, and Somerset County State’s Attorney Kristy Hickman and her office for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kwame J. Manley and Harry M. Gruber, who are prosecuting the case.