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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Maryland Man Found Guilty of Drug Conspiracy in Which Narcotics, a Firearm, and Cash Were Seized

           WASHINGTON – Gregory Cook, 48, of Waldorf, Maryland, was found guilty yesterday by a jury of four felony narcotics charges in regard to a conspiracy to traffic narcotics in Northeast, D.C. and Maryland. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

           Cook was tried before U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg and was convicted following a jury trial of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, cocaine, and heroin, as well as standalone charges for possession with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, heroin, and cocaine.  A sentencing date has not been set. Cook faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and up to life in prison.

           As established at trial, on June 7, 2017, MPD received reliable information that Cook and his partner Cornelia Rice were trafficking narcotics in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Based on the information provided, officers conducted surveillance of Rice, performed a stop on one of her vehicles, and recovered narcotics. During the stop, Rice, a D.C. Public School Bus Driver, asked an individual on the street to call “her mother,” to tell her that she was being stopped for tinted windows. Rice, in fact, had the passerby call Cook who was at home with Rice’s minor child. About six minutes after the call to Cook’s cellphone, with MPD officers surveilling Rice’s residence, Cook came to the front door and anxiously looked up and down the street outside of the apartment building. Almost immediately after Cook peered outside the door, Rice’s then 11-year-old son walked out the building with a backpack and headed down the street by himself. Officers ultimately stopped the child. Inside the backpack were large amounts of cocaine base, cocaine, heroin, a pistol, and $11,235.000 in U.S. currency. Officers then executed a search warrant at the apartment after finding Cook attempting to leave the location. Inside the apartment, officers recovered additional quantities of cocaine, and extensive drug paraphernalia for the manufacturing and packaging of narcotics. In total, law enforcement recovered approximately 50 grams of cocaine base, 270 grams of cocaine, 15 grams of heroin, 133 grams of marijuana, a .22 caliber pistol, $11,235.00.

           In a subsequent search of Cook’s Maryland residence following his arrest, law enforcement recovered extensive drug paraphernalia that contained drug residue, a commercial money counter, and an extensive amount of jewelry as well as Rice’s D.C. Public School Bus Driver Identification Card. At the time of the offense, Cook had multiple prior drug trafficking convictions. During the trial, in addition to MPD officers, officers from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office assisted and testified regarding the items recovered from Cook’s Maryland residence.

           On July 3, 2019, Judge Boasberg sentenced Cook’s partner and coconspirator Rice to five years in prison following her guilty plea to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

           In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Liu and Chief Newsham commended the work of all of those involved in the case. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who handled the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Rosenberg and Christopher Macchiaroli of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section, Paralegal Specialists Katie Thomas, Rommel Pachoca, and Teesha Tobias, and Legal Assistants Kate Abrey and Emma Atlas.

 

Press Release Number: 
19-122
Updated July 24, 2019