Father and Son Sentenced for Laundering Drug Trafficking Bitcoin Proceeds Intended for Federal Forfeiture
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Tremayne Murphy, age 40, of Harford County, Maryland to six years in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr.; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department; Sheriff Jeff Gahler of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office; and the Harford County Narcotics Task Force comprised of members of the Harford County Sheriff's Office, Aberdeen Police Department, Bel Air Police Department, and Havre de Grace Police Department.
According to his guilty plea, as a result of the Harford County Narcotics Task Force investigation into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) distributing powder and crack cocaine, Murphy, Reginald Leon Bolden, age 37, of Harford County, Maryland; and Joel Hammond, age 35, of Essex, Maryland were identified as DTO members. During the investigation of this case, law enforcement observed numerous instances of drug-related activities.
For example, on February 24, 2020, investigators surveilled Bolden and Murphy as they traveled to Wilmington, Delaware to meet with a cocaine supplier. After completing a drug transaction for nine ounces of cocaine, Bolden and Murphy returned to Harford County to distribute the cocaine. Two days later, Murphy was seen traveling back to Wilmington, Delaware, to return the cocaine to the original supplier, as customers complained about the quality of the cocaine.
After meeting with the source, detectives followed Murphy back to Harford County where Murphy was observed conducting a hand-to-hand drug transaction.
As stated in his plea agreement, on March 15, 2020, Bolden’s communications regarding the purchase of three ounces of crack cocaine from co-defendant Hammond were intercepted. Bolden had arranged the transaction through a co-conspirator, who transported money to Hammond and received a small backpack from Hammond, which investigators believed contained the cocaine.
A co-conspirator, Murphy, and Bolden then determined when Murphy could retrieve the cocaine. After the conversation, investigators observed the co-conspirator exit his residence with the same small backpack of suspected cocaine and briefly enter a vehicle operated by Murphy. Once the conspirator quickly exited Murphy’s vehicle without the backpack, Murphy subsequently traveled to Bolden’s residence.
After a brief period of time, Bolden was seen exiting Hammond’s residence and proceeded to return to Harford County. As Bolden returned to Harford County, members of the Harford County Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant on his vehicle where law enforcement seized 16 grams of powder cocaine, 41 grams of crack cocaine, and $660 in cash.
As a member of the DTO, Murphy agreed that it is reasonably foreseeable that the amount of crack cocaine sold was at least 112 grams but less than 196 grams.
Co-defendants Joel Hammond and Reginald Bolden were sentenced to six years and nine years in federal prison for their roles in the conspiracy; respectively.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the DEA, the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Harford County Narcotics Task Force, and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Romano, who prosecuted the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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