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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Baltimore Heroin Dealer Sentenced To 10 Years In Federal Prison

One of 19 Members of a Drug Trafficking Organization Convicted for Operating Drug Shops in South Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Branden Jones, age 21, of Baltimore, yesterday to 10 years in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin. 

The sentence 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; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to Jones’ plea agreement, between January 2017 and December 13, 2018, Jones conspired with others to distribute heroin and fentanyl in Baltimore and elsewhere.  Specifically, Jones admitted that he participated in a drug trafficking organization that operated a “drug shop” in the 1400 block of Kuper Street and in the area of West Pratt and South Calhoun Streets, all in South Baltimore.  Jones and other members of the organization conducted hand-to-hand sales of drugs to customers in those areas.  Jones was captured on video surveillance of the drug shop participating in the drug distribution activities.  Jones also discussed his participation in the drug shop’s activities on recorded telephone calls. 

During one of the recorded telephone calls, Jones discussed “doing 52 today,” which was a reference to selling 52 packs of heroin or fentanyl, and stated that he “made like $1200 today,” a reference to his drug trafficking proceeds.  A pack typically contains 50 doses of heroin or fentanyl.  Jones continued during the phone call by saying that he had possessed a Hi-Point firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Finally, Jones also collected drug proceeds from lower-level members of the organization and posted pictures of himself with large amounts of cash on his social media accounts.

Jones admitted that as a result of his participation in the organization, it was reasonably foreseeable to him that members of the conspiracy would distribute between one and three kilograms of heroin.  Eighteen other defendants were also convicted as members of the organization.  Seven, including Jones, have been sentenced to between 70 months and 11 years in federal prison and twelve others are awaiting sentencing.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur praised the FBI and Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zachary Stendig, Charles Austin, and Michael Hanlon, who prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated June 17, 2020