News

Operator of Charm City Motors Sentenced to Almost 11 Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Harrington Campbell, age 34, of Baltimore, today to 130 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and structuring financial transactions, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Campbell, a Jamaican national, is expected to be deported after serving his federal sentence.

“This case demonstrates how businesses can be used to launder money obtained through criminal activity,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

"This investigation began in June of 2002 and utilized a myriad of techniques, to include undercover officers, confidential sources and surveillance to expose Campbell" stated Special Agent Edward Marcinko, Public Information Officer of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office. " Many hours of hard work by DEA and IRS special agents brought this case to a successful conclusion," stated Marcinko.

"The structuring of funds is an avenue used by individuals to conceal the true source of their money. IRS-CI evaluates currency reports to trace the money from the criminal activity to the criminal." stated Special Agent in Charge C. Andre' Martin, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.

According to testimony presented at his week-long trial, Campbell, who listed himself as an officer and director of Charm City Motors, a used car business, conspired with Steven Custis, who was listed as a resident agent for Charm City Motors, Norman Edmond and others to distribute cocaine. Testimony showed that Norman Edmond was arrested in Chambers County, Texas, driving a vehicle which had been purchased from Charm City Motors. Hidden in a trap inside the vehicle were approximately 3.2 kilograms of cocaine, which had been placed there by Campbell. Edmond had been recruited by Campbell and Custis to drive the car containing the cocaine from Texas to Maryland, and he would be paid $5,000 plus expenses. Upon being arrested, Edmond had his girlfriend contact Custis who gave her cash to pay for an attorney to represent Edmond in Texas.

Campbell and his co-conspirators also had a source of supply for cocaine and marijuana in California and traveled there to meet with the source of supply and acquire both cocaine and marijuana. The source of supply would then ship the drugs to Maryland and Campbell and Custis would wire money via Western Union to the source of supply in California. While the majority of the wire transfers were in fictitious names at least one wire transfer was Custis’ name. Testimony showed several kilos of cocaine were purchased from Campbell during the time period of November 2001 and August 2002 at a price of $25,000 per kilo. Judge Blake found that Campbell was responsible for distributing between five and 15 kilos of cocaine.

Evidence also showed that from March 1999 through November 2003 Campbell structured more than $1.7 million in cash and money orders deposited into either the Charm City Motors account or his personal bank accounts. Campbell, and others acting at his direction, deposited cash or sequentially numbered money orders, purchased with cash, just below the $10,000 reporting threshold at one or more branches of the banks, in an effort to avoid having the bank file currency transaction reports with the IRS.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation for their investigative work in this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Christopher J. Romano, who prosecuted the case.

 

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