Baltimore, Maryland – Dennis Drake, age 26, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to his role in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and heroin in Baltimore.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Baltimore City Sheriff Sam Cogen; Acting Commissioner Richard Worley of the Baltimore Police Department; and Chief Robert McCullough of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to his guilty plea, from October 2020 through March 1, 2021, Drake was engaged in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving large amounts of fentanyl and heroin. Drake and his co-conspirators operated a stash house in Pikesville, Maryland, where they processed fentanyl and other drugs, mixed the drugs with cutting agents, and packaged the drugs for re-sale. Drake’s associates drove the packaged drug products to drug shops operated by their drug trafficking organization, including specifically drug shops along Stricker, School and Gilmor Streets in Baltimore.
On March 1, 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the stash house in Pikesville and recovered 6.8 kilograms of fentanyl, along with cutting agents and other drug-related paraphernalia. Drake admitted that more than 400 grams, but less than 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl was reasonably foreseeable to him and handled in furtherance of the conspiracy. Five co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and were sentenced to between 21 months and 10 years in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III has scheduled sentencing for Drake on November 27, 2023, at 9:30 a.m.
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.
This case is also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the DEA, the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office, the Baltimore Police Department, and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason D. Medinger and Ari Evans, 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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