Elkton Woman Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison for Laundering Over $400,000 in Drug Proceeds

Used Drug Proceeds to Gamble, Buy Numerous Properties and
to Purchase Luxury Automobiles

August 26, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Joy Edison, age 25, of Elkton, Maryland, today to 70 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release for conspiring to launder over $400,000 in drug proceeds. Judge Motz also ordered Edison to forfeit her interest in eight properties purchased with drug proceeds, and any other property purchased with drug trafficking proceeds. Judge Motz also ordered that Edison forfeit her interest in JJM Realty and
J. Edison Properties, front companies formed by Edison and her co-conspirators, through which many of the properties were purchased.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeannine Hammett of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; and Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.

“Money Laundering is a global threat, fuel for criminals to conduct their criminal affairs and is used to manipulate and erode our financial systems,” said Jeannine Hammett, IRS Special Agent In Charge of the Washington DC Field Office. “Money laundering is tax evasion in progress that shifts the tax burden to all honest taxpaying citizens.”

According to Edison’s plea agreement, from December 2003 to August 2010 Edison and her co-conspirators conducted financial transactions to conceal over $400,000 generated from the sale of heroin in Baltimore City. Edison and her co-conspirators used the cash proceeds of drug sales to: gamble at Las Vegas casinos, for which the “cash-outs” exceeded $184,000; purchase “winning” Maryland lottery tickets in amounts exceeding $138,000 in order to disguise drug proceeds as legitimate lottery winnings; deposit over $79,000 in cash into Edison’s bank accounts during 2007 and 2008; give hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to individuals operating used car businesses; and buy a residence for Edison in Elkton and at least seven properties in Baltimore.

In addition, according to court documents, while Edison was maintaining a lavish lifestyle using drug proceeds, she submitted fraudulent applications to the Maryland Department of Human Services for community medical assistance, food stamps and the child care subsidy program. After misrepresenting her address and financial condition, Edison was granted the requested public assistance.

On August 22, 2011, co-defendant Tahirah Carter, age 35, of Cockeysville, Maryland was sentenced to 135 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, Baltimore Police Department, DEA, FBI, and the Maryland State Police for their assistance in this investigation. Mr Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys James G. Warwick and James T. Wallner, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

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