Hyattsville Cocaine Dealer Sentenced to 25 Years on Gun and Drug Charges

November 3, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Shamane Walter James, age 35, of Hyattsville, today to 25 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and powder cocaine, distribution of crack cocaine, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to evidence presented at his four day trial, officers investigating drug distribution activity at a home in Hyattsville, executed a search warrant at the home on September 5, 2007 and discovered Shamane James sleeping in a basement bedroom. Officers recovered approximately 10 grams of crack cocaine packaged in 5 separate baggies as well as $3,000 in cash from a jacket hanging in the closet. On a nightstand, a false-bottom can containing cocaine residue was resting next to an additional $421 in cash and James’s identification and personal documents. Officers also recovered approximately 68 grams of crack and 23 grams of cocaine outside a basement window. These drugs were also packaged for distribution, broken down into 38 smaller baggies containing various quantities of drugs.

From a box found in a shed in the backyard of the home officers recovered approximately 96 grams of crack cocaine and 10 grams of powder cocaine, packaged consistently with the drugs found in the basement – broken down into user quantities, with crack cocaine in five clear baggies and powder cocaine in three colored baggies. Also contained in the box were additional empty baggies and a digital scale with cocaine residue. An electronic money counter was also in the shed, sitting on a separate shelf.

During their search of the shed, officers discovered a loose floorboard and underneath found approximately 1 kilogram of cocaine, 239 grams of crack cocaine in 8 clear sandwich bags, a loaded Ruger 9 mm pistol and 14 rounds of ammunition. A witnesses testified that she saw Shamane James go out to the shed multiple times a day. Another witness testified that since 2006 she had regularly purchased crack cocaine from James and James went to the basement or out back to retrieve the drugs

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their investigative work, and commended Assistant United States Attorneys Deborah A. Johnston and Stacy Dawson Belf, who prosecuted the case.



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