Drug Dealer Sentenced to over 11 Years in Federal Prison
Had Heroin “Shops” on Eager Street
Baltimore, Maryland - Chief U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Roland Branch, also known as “Smurf” and “Tony,” age 40, of Pikesville, Maryalnd, today to 135 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his guilty plea, at least six individuals have detailed to law enforcement their direct drug dealing with Roland Branch. Several reported that Branch provided them with multiple kilos of cocaine. Others reported that since 1999 Branch controlled the street level distribution of heroin in and around Eager Street and that they had purchased heroin from Branch.
On September 26, 2007, agents executed search warrants at locations used by Branch and found a drug scale with cocaine and heroin residue and other drug paraphernalia. Branch also had multiple luxury vehicles, Rolex and Cartier watches, fine jewelry, several cell phones and over $20,000 in cash, all of which the government is seeking to forfeit, as well as possessed a fake Maryland driver’s license in the name of another individual when he was arrested. Records showed that Branch used that fake ID to travel out of state on several occasions and to open credit card accounts. Branch was using that person’s identity without the victim’s knowledge or approval. A review of Branch’s cell phones, recovered dozens of text messages where Branch discussed his narcotic transactions, using code-words to refer to the drugs and to the drug quantities that people ordered. Finally, agents discovered that Branch and others involved in the narcotics conspiracy deposited over $300,000 in cash into Branch’s bank accounts. Over the course of the conspiracy, Branch was responsible for the distribution of between 50 and 150 kilograms of cocaine and at least 1 kilogram of heroin.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for its investigative work and commended Assistant United States Attorney Kwame J. Manley, who prosecuted the case.