Member of Salisbury Drug Organization Sentenced To 10 Years in Prison

July 15, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz, sentenced Aaron Ross, age 25, of Salisbury, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of powder and crack cocaine.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeannine A. Hammett of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.

Jeannine Hammett, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation stated, "This is an important victory for the American public. The role of IRS CI in narcotics investigations is to follow the money so we can financially disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations. One of the government's most powerful weapons is the ability to seize through asset forfeiture the assets associated with narcotics-related crime. IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to provide its financial expertise as we work alongside our law enforcement partners to bring criminals to justice."

According to his guilty plea, from November 2009 until January 2010, Aaron Ross was a member of a drug trafficking organization and conspired with a number of other individuals to distribute powder and crack cocaine in and around Salisbury, Maryland. Specifically, Ross agreed to receive and distribute quantities of cocaine from and through other members of the organization on a continuing basis. The organization obtained kilogram quantities of cocaine from suppliers in New York and elsewhere. Ross assisted other members of the organization in cooking portions of the powder cocaine into crack cocaine. During the investigation, law enforcement overheard Ross on a number of intercepted cellular telephone calls with his co-conspirators discussing obtaining amounts of cocaine, methods for cooking powder cocaine into crack, and money owed to him for drug transactions. On January 29, 2010, a search warrant was executed at Ross’ home and officers recovered glassware containing cocaine residue and a .40 caliber handgun, which was recovered from under the mattress in the bedroom where Ross was located. Ross admits that, along with other members of the conspiracy, he conspired to distribute between five and 15 kilograms of cocaine.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the DEA, FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Philip S. Jackson and Special Assistant United States Attorney Christine Celeste, a cross designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to drug cases, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

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