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Press Release

Four Charged In Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
31 Kilograms of Cocaine and $2.4 Million in Cash Seized

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal criminal complaint has been filed charging four individuals for a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. The criminal complaint was filed this afternoon, following the defendants’ arrests on Friday evening, April 8, 2016.  Charged in the criminal complaint are:

Hector M. Hernandez-Villapando, age 63, of Hanover, Maryland;
Enixae Hernandez-Barba, age 33, of Linthicum Heights, Maryland;
Hector L. Hernandez-Barba, age 39, of Las Vegas, Nevada; and
William Frederick Cornish, age 52, of Abingdon, Maryland.

The charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Colonel Woodrow Jones, Chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police; Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare; Chief Michael A. Pristoop of the Annapolis Police Department; Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Chief Richard McLaughlin of the Laurel Police Department; Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler; and Special Agent in Charge Thomas Jankowski of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, in August 2015, DEA received information about a group that was trafficking large amounts of cocaine into Maryland and utilizing a warehouse on Golden Ring Road in Baltimore. Investigation showed that the business using that location, KMKJ Trucking, LLC, had been evicted by July 31, 2015.  Over the next six months, investigators identified Hernandez-Villapando and his sons, E. Hernandez-Barba and H. Hernandez-Barba as the individuals believed to have been using the Golden Ring Road warehouse.  The investigation subsequently identified a warehouse on Hammonds Ferry Road in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, as the new location being used by those individuals.

According to the affidavit, on April 6, 2016, a tractor trailer with the KMKJ logo arrived at the Hammonds Ferry Road warehouse and backed up to the rear bay door of the unit. Investigators observed items being unloaded from the tractor trailer into the warehouse.  A short time later, law enforcement observed a van occupied by E. Hernandez-Barba and H. Hernandez-Barba traveling around the parking lot and warehouse building, conducting counter-surveillance of the area.  The Hernandez-Barba brothers then entered the warehouse, where they remained for approximately two hours before returning to E. Hernandez-Barba’s residence.

On the evening of April 8, 2016, investigators saw H. Hernandez-Barba, E. Hernandez-Barba and Hernandez-Villapando arrive at the Linthicum Heights warehouse.  E. Hernandez-Barba then left in a black Honda, followed by a silver F-150 pickup truck.  After a conversation on a nearby street between E. Hernandez-Barba and the driver of the pickup truck, they returned to the warehouse.  E. Hernandez Barba went into the warehouse and the F-150 entered the warehouse through the bay door, which was then closed.  A few minutes later, the bay door re-opened and the F-150 drove out of the warehouse.  The truck, driven William Cornish, was stopped by law enforcement shortly after leaving the warehouse area.  A narcotics detection dog was brought to the scene.  The dog scanned the truck resulting in a positive response for the presence of illegal drugs.  Law enforcement recovered 31 kilograms of cocaine from a box in the back seat of the truck.  Law enforcement also stopped Hernandez-Villapando, H. Hernandez-Barba and E. Hernandez-Barba as they left the warehouse. 

Search warrants were obtained and executed at the warehouse and at the residences of E. Hernandez-Barba, Hernandez-Villapando, and Cornish.  Law enforcement recovered three large duffel bags in the basement of Hernandez-Barba’s home containing large amounts of cash.  The money was vacuum sealed in plastic bags marked with the amount of cash on the outside of each plastic bag.  Based on those amounts, law enforcement believes the duffel bags contain approximately $2.4 million.  Investigators also recovered a drug/money ledger in the home documenting just over $2.4 million in receipts from the sale of illegal drugs. From Cornish’s home, law enforcement recovered a money counter, colored rubber bands, latex gloves and a digital scale, typically used in the narcotics trade to count and package money and to weigh drugs prior to distribution.  Investigators also recovered a radio frequency detector that is commonly used by drug traffickers to “sweep” cars, people, and other items for hidden transmitters and electronic devices that are often used by law enforcement while investigating the distribution of illegal drugs.

The defendants face a minimum mandatory sentence of ten years and up to life in prison.  The defendants are expected to have initial appearances today beginning at 4:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. 

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended DEA, the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Baltimore Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Annapolis Police Department, Maryland State Police, Laurel Police Department, Harford County Task Force, and IRS Criminal Investigation for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys James G. Warwick and Joshua T. Ferrentino, who are prosecuting the case.

Updated April 11, 2016

Drug Trafficking