Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Khary Owens, age 44, of Baltimore, Maryland, yesterday to five years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute cocaine. As part of Owens’ plea agreement, he admitted that he possessed a .45-caliber handgun, loaded with 11 rounds of ammunition, in furtherance of his drug trafficking.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
According to his guilty plea, in September and October 2020 Baltimore Police Department (“BPD”) detectives conducted covert surveillance on a residence in the 500 block of Sheridan Avenue in Baltimore after receiving information that the house was used for drug distribution. Detectives saw Owens on the front porch of the residence and on the sidewalk in front of the house. During their surveillance, detectives saw Owens supply drugs by engaging in hand-to-hand drug transactions.
As detailed in his plea agreement, detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence and for Owens’ person, which was executed on October 7, 2020. Detectives saw Owens arrive at the residence, then hang his vest and backpack on the front porch. When Owens saw the detectives approaching the residence, he ran inside the house and up the stairs, where he threw a package of 58 vials of cocaine out a second story window into the backyard. The package was retrieved by waiting BPD detectives. Officers entered the residence and placed Owens under arrest. From the backpack Owens left on the front porch, law enforcement recovered a .45-caliber firearm, loaded with 11 rounds of ammunition, a medicine bottle filled with a suspected cutting agent to mix with controlled substances, and drug packaging materials. Owens admitted that he intended to distribute the cocaine and that he possessed the firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Tsuei, who prosecuted the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psn and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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