Third Defendant in St. Mary’s County Drug Ring Sentenced to over 11 Years in Prison

August 3, 2010

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Anthony Levi Taylor a/k/a Tony Taylor, age 42, of Lusby, Maryland, today to 136 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute cocaine and being a felon in possession of a gun.

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 Rebecca Sparkman of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron; Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans; Charles County Sheriff Rex Coffey; and Chief Roberto L. Hylton of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

According to Taylor’s plea agreement, beginning in at least September 2006, Rodney Estep received cocaine transported into St. Mary’s County, Maryland from his sources of supply. From May to September 10, 2009, Taylor, Estep and others distributed the cocaine in Maryland. Estep told the conspirators when the cocaine was ready to be picked up, and the conspirators would then meet with Estep or one of his subordinates, including Taylor, in St. Mary’s and Calvert counties to obtain the cocaine.

On September 10, 2009, a search warrant was executed at Taylor’s residence. Agents seized approximately two ounces ounce of crack cocaine, a digital scale containing cocaine residue and a loaded handgun. Taylor had previously been convicted of a felony and thus, was prohibited from possessing a gun.

Taylor is responsible for distributing between 11 and 33 pounds of powder cocaine, and less than 18 ounces of crack cocaine.

To date, 12 of 14 defendants charged in this conspiracy have pleaded guilty to their participation in the drug operations, including the ringleader, Rodney Matthew Estep, Jr., a/k/a “Barney Fife,” age 34, of Mechanicsville, Maryland. Estep pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy, conducting an illegal gambling business and money laundering, and he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life in prison at his sentencing scheduled for September 14, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. Two defendants were sentenced to 10 years and to 210 months in prison, respectively.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys James A. Crowell IV and Mara B. Zusman, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.


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