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Press Release

Elkton Fentanyl Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Distribution Charges Relating to A Fatal Overdose

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Sold Fentanyl to a Recovering Victim One Day Before the Victim’s Fatal Overdose and Possessed 38 Bags of Fentanyl

Baltimore, Maryland – Robert Allen Valladares, age 37, of Elkton, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to distribution of fentanyl, and two counts of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.    

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Cecil County State’s Attorney James A. Dellmyer; Cecil County Sheriff Scott Adams; and Chief Carolyn Rogers of the Elkton Police Department.

According to his guilty plea, in December 2019, the Cecil County Drug Task Force received information from a confidential informant that identified Valladares as a Cecil County controlled substances dealer acting under the alias of “Rob Valley” and provided his cell phone number.

On February 8, 2020, the Elkton Police Department was dispatched to a residence in reference to an overdose death. Upon arrival, an officer made contact with the victim’s father who stated that his son was deceased in his bedroom from, what he believed to be, an overdose. Emergency medical services arrived and pronounced the victim deceased shortly after.

Within the victim’s bedroom, officers located two empty wax bags stamped “Facetime” laying on the victim’s bed, an uncapped syringe that appeared to contain blood in it, and four cell phones. According to the victim’s family, the victim was recently discharged from a recovery house and appeared to be recovering well.

The victim’s father then informed officers that the night before the victim’s death, the victim asked his father to take him to his friend “Rob’s” house to obtain suboxone strips. The victim’s father knew Valladares and had meet him previously. Once the victim’s father drove him to Valladares’ residence, the victim went inside for approximately two minutes and returned to his father’s vehicle.

An autopsy performed on the victim’s body revealed the cause of death to be a mixed drug intoxication of acyrl fentanyl, fentanyl, desproprionyl fentanyl, methamphetamine and xylazine.

A subsequent forensic data extraction of the victim’s four cell phones revealed that the victim had called Valladares one day before his death and texted Valladares that his father was bringing him to his residence, and that they had to “keep it on the low”.

As stated in his plea agreement, on February 13, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant on Valladares’ residence. As a result of the search warrant, investigators seized prescription alprazolam pills, a digital scale, mail addressed to Valladares, five blue wax bags stamped “Facetime” containing suspected fentanyl, additional empty blue wax bags stamped “Facetime,” and a cell phone. Analysis of three of the blue wax bags stamped “Facetime” revealed the substance to be fentanyl.

A subsequent forensic data extraction of Valladares’ cell phone revealed that it contained over 80,000 text messages and messages consistent with the distribution and sale of controlled substances.

On May 4, 2020, a traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle leaving the Valladares residence. A K-9 scan resulted in the discovery of baggies containing fentanyl in the car. The driver advised that he had been purchasing drugs from Valladares for the past three to four months. Analysis of the substance within the bags seized from the car was confirmed to be fentanyl.

On May 19, 2020, a search warrant was executed at Valladares’ Elkton, Maryland residence. Valladares was detained at the front door of the residence. A search of the house yielded 38 bags of fentanyl. Valladares admits that he possessed the fentanyl with the intent to distribute it.

Valladares and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Valladares will be sentenced to between 132 months and 168 months in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for January 7, 2022 at 2 p.m. 

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the Maryland State Police, Office of the State’s Attorney for Cecil County, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, and the Elkton Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kim Y. Oldham and Mary W. Setzer, who are prosecuting the case.

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Marcia Murphy
(410) 209-4854

Updated October 22, 2021