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Press Release

Ellicott City Drug Trafficker Convicted After Trial In Federal Court Of Possessing Narcotics And Firearms To Further His Drug Business, Including Two Semi-Automatic Riles With Large-Capacity Magazines

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
After Four-day Trial in Federal Court, Jury Found that the Defendant Illegally Possessed Powder and Crack Cocaine for Distribution, Four Firearms, and Nearly $10,000 in Cash

Greenbelt, Maryland – After a four-day trial that ended on Friday, September 25, 2020, a federal jury convicted Tiba Sakuri Conley, age 31, of Ellicott City, Maryland, on federal drug distribution and firearms charges.  

The conviction 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; Chief Lisa D. Myers of the Howard County Police Department; Interim Chief Hector Velez of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on April 21, 2016, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Conley’s residence in Ellicott City, Maryland.  When law enforcement entered his residence, Conley was in the kitchen with bags of cocaine base (also known as crack cocaine), powder cocaine, digital scales with white residue, baking powder, a pyrex measuring cup with white residue, and a loaded .45 caliber pistol on the kitchen counters on either side of him.  Law enforcement recovered approximately 70 grams of crack cocaine and approximately 72 grams of powder cocaine, which Conley possessed with the intent to distribute, as well as four digital scales and $9,495 in United States currency ($495 of which was recovered from Conley’s person). 

In furtherance of his drug trafficking, Conley also possessed another .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a 5.56x45 millimeter semi-automatic rifle, and a 7.62x39 millimeter semi-automatic rifle  There were almost 200 rounds of ammunition recovered from the residence—much of it loaded into large capacity magazines for the rifles.  The evidence showed that Conley was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition as a result of a previous felony conviction.  In a recording played at trial, Conley acknowledged that he was “cooking” when law enforcement entered his residence and that, “They got me.”

Conley faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute over 28 grams of cocaine base; a consecutive mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months in federal prison for possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  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 Peter J. Messitte has scheduled sentencing for January 7, 2021 at 11:00 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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI; PGPD; Prince George’s County States Attorney’s Office and the Howard County Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph R. Baldwin and Dwight J. Draughon, who are prosecuting the case.

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Updated September 28, 2020