Heroin Organization Operated in Cecil County, Maryland, and in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Michael Roberts, a/k/a “Spook,” age 27, of Elkton, Maryland today to 10 years in prison followed by four years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin.
Yesterday, Judge Blake sentenced co-defendant Jorge Ayala-Pizzaro, age 24, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for the same charge.
The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gary Tuggle of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Special Agent in Charge David G. Dongilli, Philadelphia Division of the DEA; Cecil County Sheriff Barry A. Janney, Sr.; Chief Matthew Donnelly of the Elkton Police Department; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Cecil County State’s Attorney Ellis Rollins; and Colonel Nathaniel McQueen, Jr. of the Delaware State Police.
According to his plea agreement, since at least December 2012, Roberts worked with Rachine Garnett to distribute the bulk quantities of heroin that Garnett obtained from sources in Philadelphia and New York, including co-defendants Jorge Ayala-Pizarro and Luis Lugo-Santiago. Law enforcement intercepted numerous calls between Roberts and Garnett. Generally, Garnett would contact Roberts to let him know he was ready to resupply Roberts with heroin. In addition to discussing drug transactions, Garnett and Roberts would discuss the location of police officers in the area to help avoid detection by law enforcement.
According to Ayala-Pizzaro’s plea agreement, he obtained kilograms of heroin, then took the bulk heroin to an apartment rented by Lugo-Santiago, where he and his co-conspirators cut it and repackaged it for further distribution. The heroin was sold to customers in Maryland and Delaware, including Rachine Garnett. Garnett would contact Lugo-Santiago to obtain heroin or provide cash for prior heroin purchases. Lugo-Santiago arranged a meeting with Ayala-Pizzaro or another associate. Garnett would meet Ayala-Pizzaro and others in Philadelphia where he would obtain a new supply of heroin and/or drop off the cash. Garnett and Ayala-Pizzaro had vehicles with hidden compartments where they could store either heroin or money. Often to exchange drugs, money or both, they would simply switch vehicles when they met. Over the course of a seven month wiretap, investigators identified 59 money deliveries from Garnett totaling $1,668,510, for the purchase of approximately 8.98 kilograms of heroin.
Ayala-Pizzarro also handled the transport of heroin and money to and from customers in Delaware, and was overheard by law enforcement discussing drug transactions and the finances of the organization.
On August 15, 2013, investigators executed a search warrant at Ayala-Pizzaro’s apartment and recovered drug paraphernalia, packaging material and $5,329 in cash. A search of Ayala-Pizzaro’s vehicle recovered over a kilogram of heroin packaged in a number of clear plastic baggies from a hidden compartment.
Roberts and Ayala-Pizzaro admitted that over the course of the conspiracy they were responsible for the distribution of at least 400 grams and 10 kilograms of heroin, respectively.
Seven defendants have pleaded guilty to their participation in the heroin conspiracy. Judge Blake sentenced Rachine Huron Garnett, a/k/a “Sheen,” “Red,” “Ray,” and “Blockhead,” age 38, of Elkton, Maryland, to 10 years in prison and sentenced Abel Nunez-Reyes, age 30, of Philadelphia, and Barry Jenkins, Jr., age 24, of Elkton, each to two years in prison. Orlando Nunez De Leon, age 37, of New York, New York, is scheduled to be sentenced on October 31, 2014, and Luis Lugo-Santiago, a/k/a “Papi,” and “Andres Galvez,” age 39, also of New York, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 5, 2014.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA, Cecil County Drug Task Force, and Delaware State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein also recognized the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the District of Delaware, Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York and the New York Police Department for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Kenneth S. Clark and James G. Warwick, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.