Steven Blackwell and Two Others Indicted in Heroin Conspiracy
Defendants Allegedly Participated in Heroin Distribution Conspiracy Operating Since 2003
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted Steven Blackwell, age 26, of Elkton, Maryland; Tahirah Carter, age 34, of Cockeysville, Maryland; and Joy Edison, age 24, of Elkton, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin. The indictment was returned on August 11, 2010, and unsealed today upon the arrest of the defendants.
The indictment 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; Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Sparkman of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy; and Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.
“This investigation has been one of our highest priorities,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Federal prosecutors and agents are working closely with Baltimore City police and prosecutors and focusing resources on suspects believed to be involved in the city’s most serious crimes. Anyone who joins a criminal drug distribution network is liable to be prosecuted for conspiracy and held accountable for all foreseeable criminal conduct of other participants.”
Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld said, “Our partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the tenacious work of many Baltimore police officers and FBI agents over the last two years has led to the indictment of Steven Blackwell on drug conspiracy charges. This indictment represents a milestone achievement in the fight against violent crime in Baltimore.”
According to the indictment, Blackwell, Carter and Edison have participated in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in Maryland, New York and the Dominican Republic since December 2003. The indictment further alleges that during the time of the conspiracy the defendants have distributed and possessed with intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin.
Blackwell was arrested on Tuesday, August 24th in New York and had his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in New York today. He is detained pending removal to the U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Carter and Edison were also arrested on August 24, 2010 and each had an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore today.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison for the drug conspiracy.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorneys Tony Gioia, Michael Studdard and Tim Lake, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, the New York offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation, 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 are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.