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Justice News

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

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Baltimore Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Distribution Charge

Continued to Sell Drugs While on Pre-Trial Release From State Drug Charges; Baltimore Business Owner Also Pleads Guilty to Providing Cutting Agents to the Drug Distribution Organization

Greenbelt, Maryland – Kareem Mack, a/k/a K Mack, age 29, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances related to his participation in a drug trafficking organization that distributed heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine in Maryland and surrounding states.  Robert Williams, age 63, of Baltimore, also pleaded guilty today for providing cutting agents to the drug trafficking organization from his store in the Hollins Market area in Baltimore.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jarod A. Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington Division Office; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to Mack’s guilty plea and other court documents, from October 2018 through April 2019, the FBI intercepted phone communications of the Butler drug trafficking organization (DTO), which operated in and around the Baltimore metropolitan area.  Interceptions revealed that the DTO used phones to arrange heroin, cocaine base, and fentanyl sales to drug users and drug redistributors from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

As detailed in Mack’s plea agreement, the DTO operated on a nearly daily basis and sold thousands of dollars in narcotics on a daily basis.  Customers of the DTO believed they were purchasing heroin, but the DTO adulterated all heroin it sold with fentanyl.  Street-level distributors in the DTO worked in shifts, sharing phones they used to communicate with DTO leadership and customers.

The investigation identified Kareem Mack as a street-level distributor in the DTO from at least November 2018 through his arrest in April 2019.  During this period of time, Mack sold heroin, crack cocaine, and fentanyl on behalf of the DTO.  A search warrant executed at Mack’s residence on December 7, 2018, by members of the Baltimore City Police Department (“BPD”) recovered over 100 grams of heroin, approximately 26 grams of crack cocaine, and $12,537 in drug proceeds.  Officers also recovered a cellular telephone that street-level distributors used to communicate with DTO leadership.   Mack was arrested, then released pending trial in state court.

Mack continued to distribute narcotics on behalf of the DTO while on pre-trial release for his state drug trafficking charges.  Over the course of his participation in the DTO, Mack admitted that he distributed at least one kilogram of heroin.

In a related case, Robert Williams admitted that from at least September 2018 through June 2019, he supplied the DTO with narcotics cutting agents (i.e., drug paraphernalia). According to Williams’ plea agreement, wiretap interceptions of Williams’ phone revealed that he frequently sold cutting agents used for the processing of heroin and fentanyl in large quantities. Williams communicated by phone and text message about these transactions, but also attempted to disguise the nature of the illegal activity by using FaceTime, an encrypted video/audio application for Apple cellular devices.

In May 2019, the FBI searched Williams’ business in the Hollins Market area of Baltimore and recovered multiple boxes containing large quantities of cutting agents.  Interceptions of Williams’ phone had confirmed that he hid the cutting agents inside the store to avoid detection by law enforcement.  Williams admitted that he knowingly sold the drug paraphernalia to drug traffickers and knew that it was being used for the distribution of narcotics.

Mack faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum of life in federal prison for the drug conspiracy.  Williams faces a maximum of two years in federal prison.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm has scheduled sentencing for Mack on August 31, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.  Judge Grimm set Williams’ sentencing for August 31, 2020, at 2:00 p.m.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI, the DEA, the Montgomery County and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the City of Rockville Police Department; the Baltimore County, Howard County, and Montgomery County Police Departments; the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office; the Maryland State Police; the West Virginia State Police; the Virginia State Police; the Warren County (VA) Sheriff’s Department; the Winchester (VA) and Front Royal (VA) Police Departments; and the Frederick County and Howard County State’s Attorney’s Offices.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew DellaBetta and Michael Goldsticker, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

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Drug Trafficking
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated March 3, 2020