Lanham Drug Dealer Sentenced to Over 12 Years in Federal Prison
Shipped over 3,000 Kilograms of Marijuana from Arizona to Maryland Worth Approximately $5 Million
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore J. Chuang sentenced Gloria Patricia Taylor, age 52, of Lanham, Maryland today to 146 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 1000 kilograms or more of marijuana, two counts of use of a communication device to facilitate narcotics trafficking, and possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. Judge Chuang also entered an order requiring Taylor to forfeit $3.7 million. Taylor was convicted by a federal jury on April 28, 2016.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division.
According to evidence presented at her seven-day trial, on July 1, 2013, law enforcement officers intercepted three crates containing a total of approximately 630 kilograms of marijuana at a nationwide delivery company with a shipping office located in Maryland. All three crates were shipped from Tucson, Arizona. The crates were addressed to companies in in Landover and Lanham, Maryland. The bill of lading for the shipments described the contents as “Stone Group, Amethyst Stone,” and “Stone Group, Aragonite.” In total, the bales of marijuana from those three crates weighed over 1300 pounds, which evidence at trial showed was approximately $1.3 million dollars’ worth of marijuana.
According to trial evidence, records showed that at least 28 additional crates shipped from Arizona to those and other companies were sent from March 2011 through October 2013. The shipping company driver who delivered the packages testified that Taylor accepted delivery of and signed fictitious names for each of the crates (with the exception of 5 or so shipments, which were delivered to an associate of Taylor’s, at Taylor’s request), and that none of the crates were delivered to the addresses found on the bills of lading. Evidence at trial further showed that none of the delivery addresses on the bills of lading were in any way associated with any of the businesses. Taylor tipped the driver approximately $100 for each delivery.
Trial testimony showed that the driver first met Taylor when he attempted to deliver a crate to one of the companies. When the driver arrived at the address listed on the bill of lading, the individuals at that address did not accept the package. Shortly thereafter, Taylor contacted the driver and asked him to deliver the package to a location around the corner. Taylor arrived at the delivery spot with a U-Haul. Taylor requested that the driver become her regular delivery driver for all future deliveries. According to trial testimony, prior to each delivery, Taylor would contact the driver by telephone and inform him that the crates were arriving at the shipping company in Maryland. The day of the delivery, Taylor would call the driver to let him know where to make the delivery. When law enforcement intercepted the three crates in July 2013, shipping company personnel told the driver that drugs were found in the crates. The driver confronted Taylor, who apologized for getting him involved, and offered to pay the driver $10,000 to get the crate back and also offered him a new cell phone so that they could communicate. The driver refused the money and the cell phone and cut off all communication with Taylor. Taylor stopped using the shipping company.
The government’s evidence showed that Taylor traveled to Arizona during the same time period each of the shipments were shipped from Tucson, Arizona to Maryland. Even after Taylor stopped using the Maryland shipping company in July 2013, she continued to travel to and from Arizona and Maryland, renting a U-Haul within days of each return to Maryland, including in October 2013, January 2014, February 2014, April 2014, July 2014, and September 2014.
According to trial evidence, after Taylor returned to Maryland from Arizona on September 30, 2014, she rented a U-Haul van, which she drove to Washington, DC, and then back to her residence. On that same date, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Taylor’s residence and the U-Haul van. Law enforcement recovered 250 pounds of marijuana (approximately 130 kilograms) from a crate that Taylor was seen unloading from the U-Haul van, and nine cell phones from throughout the residence. In addition, within her master bedroom, law enforcement recovered additional marijuana, over $30,000 in cash, and drug ledgers which calculated Taylor’s sales and profit from her marijuana business.
The government’s evidence showed that, just between October 2012 and July 2013, Taylor shipped approximately 5,220 pounds (approximately 2,367 kilograms) of marijuana, worth approximately $5 million.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly O’Connell Hayes and Bryan E. Foreman, who prosecuted the case.