Two “Smackdown” Drug Dealers Exiled to More than 17 and 11 Years in Federal Prison

Organization Distributed 30 Kilograms or More of a Brand of Heroin named “Smackdown”

August 8, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Jermaine Gilbert, age 38, and Jamal Piles, age 19, both of Baltimore, to 210 months and 135 months in prison, respectively, followed by five years of supervised release each, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 30 kilograms or more of heroin, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Piles was sentenced today and Gilbert was sentenced yesterday.

According to their guilty pleas, from 2005 until June 2007, Piles, Gilbert and their co-conspirators distributed a brand of heroin named “Smackdown” around a five to eight block area of West Baltimore bounded by Baltimore Street to the north, Pratt Street to the south, Gilmore Street to the west, and Arlington Street to the east and set up shops on any given day within that area, including locations in the vicinity of the Hollins Market.

During the conspiracy, Gilbert was a street lieutenant, responsible for the operation of the daily street distribution of heroin. Piles was responsible for supplying the street shop each morning with gelatin capsules of heroin for street distribution. Piles would have the heroin provided to him the preceding day and would travel by unlicensed taxi (“hack”) to the distribution area to supply the shop for the day. On June 11, 2007, agents observed Piles enter the vehicle of co-defendant Calvin Matthews, and exit the vehicle with a visible bulge in his clothing. Piles then entered a “hack” and began to drive toward the organization’s distribution area. The hack was stopped and agents searched Piles, recovering 499 gelatin capsules of heroin. On June 22, 2007, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at 5501 Todd Avenue in Baltimore City, the main stash location for the organization, and recovered over three kilograms of heroin, packaging material and cutting agent. During the course of the conspiracy, Gilbert , Piles and other members of the conspiracy conspired to distribute 30 kilograms or more of heroin.

Co-conspirators Lennell Matthews, age 26, and Donita Moore, age 29, were each sentenced to 14 years in prison; and Jerome Gilbert, age 27, and Lionel Matthews, age 24, were each sentenced 210 months in prison, after pleading guilty to the same charge.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and Assistant State’s Attorneys Christine Siemek and Christopher Mason, the Baltimore City Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Wallner, who is prosecuting the case.


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