News

Leader of a Violent Baltimore Drug Organization Exiled to 35 Years in Prison


Co-Conspirator Faces Up to Life in Prison at Tomorrow’s Sentencing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Calvin Wright, a/k/a “Turkey,” age 38, of Baltimore, today to 35 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine; possession with intent to distribute heroin; possession of a gun in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and possession of guns by a convicted felon. Judge Legg enhanced Wright’s sentence upon finding that Wright was a leader of the conspiracy.

Wright still faces separate state charges for the 2007 torture and murder of Sintia Mesa.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy; Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III of the Baltimore City Police Department; and Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division.

“This case demonstrates the value of a coordinated law enforcement effort focused on violent criminals,” said “said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Calvin Wright’s career of dealing drugs and creating mayhem in Baltimore has come to an end.”

“Drugs and violence go hand in hand, but thanks to the hard work of multiple law enforcement agencies, Mr. Wright will no longer pose a threat to his community.” stated Ava A. Cooper-Davis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to evidence presented at the three week trial, from January 2001 until they were arrested on September 11, 2008, Wright and Butler organized and led a large, violent drug organization that used locations in Baltimore, such as the 5000 block of Belair Road, Greenmount Avenue and 29th Street, and Collington Avenue and Eager Street, to package, store and distribute drugs and collect money from drug customers. Witnesses testified that members of the conspiracy supplied the street inventory as needed and used guns to protect the drugs and drug proceeds and to further the drug organization.

According to the evidence and witness testimony, over the course of the conspiracy Wright was responsible for the distribution of at least 20 kilograms of cocaine and 10 to 30 kilograms of heroin. Additionally, the day before they were arrested, Butler was heard on a recorded call telling Wright that he and others were “rolling strapped” in a Dodge green Caravan. Multiple witnesses testified that the word “strapped” refers to carrying a firearm. Two firearms, including an SKS assault-style rifle, were found in the Dodge Caravan by authorities the next day.

Johnnie Butler, a/k/a “Jr.,”age 34, of Nottingham, Maryland was convicted at trial for his leadership role of the drug organization and faces a maximum sentence of life at his sentencing scheduled for tomorrow, April 29, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. Butler also faces separate state charges for the 2007 torture and murder of Sintia Mesa.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy commended Assistant United States Attorney George J. Hazel and Special Assistant United States Attorney Christine M. Celeste, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case and Assistant State’s Attorneys Melissa Copeland, Jerry Jones and Michael Studdard, who assisted in the prosecution.

 

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