Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallaher sentenced Michael Fisher, a.k.a. “Mark Wilson,” age 47, of Laurel, Maryland, today to 17 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for his participation in a large-scale drug trafficking organization involving fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana shipped from California to Maryland through the U.S. mail. At today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Gallagher found that approximately 120 kilograms of cocaine, 6.5 kilograms of fentanyl and 50 kilograms of marijuana were attributable to Fisher as part of the conspiracy.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Superintendent Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III of the Maryland State Police; Postal Inspector in Charge Damon E. Wood of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; and Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington Division.
According to his guilty plea, in November 2019, law enforcement began investigating a drug trafficking conspiracy that used the U.S. mail to distribute fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan area. During the investigation, court-authorized wiretaps of Fisher and his co-conspirator, Dwight Antonio Pitts, revealed conversations in which they discussed the distribution of fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana with each other and with other individuals. Further, law enforcement conducted surveillance and observed drug transactions by both Fisher and Pitts.
During the conspiracy, Fisher and Pitts traveled to California multiple times to obtain kilograms of cocaine and fentanyl. Once in possession of the narcotics, they mailed the narcotics back to Maryland for distribution.
In May 2020, during drug interdiction activities at a United States Postal Service processing and distribution center in Maryland, postal inspectors interdicted multiple parcels, including a parcel bound for a location in Laurel, Maryland that was identified as a location maintained by Fisher. A search warrant was obtained for this parcel which contained approximately two kilograms of cocaine.
Between June 1, 2020 and June 3, 2020, investigators intercepted several telephone calls between Fisher and Co-Conspirator 2 arranging a drug transaction. On June 3, 2020, Fisher and Co-Conspirator 2 met at a location in Hanover, Maryland. Investigators at that location observed Co-Conspirator 2 retrieve an object, later determined to be a heat-sealed bag containing approximately 501 grams of fentanyl, from Fisher. Co-Conspirator 2 placed the object into the trunk of his vehicle and left the location. Later that day, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of Co-Conspirator 2’s vehicle and recovered the heat-sealed bag of fentanyl that Fisher distributed to Co-Conspirator 2 during their meeting.
On August 4, 2020, court-authorized cell phone location data showed Pitts’s cell phone in the area of 3828 North Peck Road, El Monte, California. Two days later, USPIS received an alert that two Priority Mail parcels had been sent from the El Segundo, California Branch Post Office on August 5, 2020. The parcels were bound for locations in Maryland associated with Fisher and the conspiracy. The two parcels were seized by investigators in Maryland before they were delivered. A search warrant was authorized for both parcels, which were found to contain more than two kilograms of cocaine and more than two kilograms of fentanyl., respectively Security footage from the El Segundo Post Office showed that Pitts was at the post office at the time the parcels were mailed.
On August 13, 2020, investigators followed Fisher to a parking lot at 3828 North Peck Road, El Monte, California—the same location where Pitts’s cell phone was located several days earlier. Fisher parked his car and a white Honda SUV with a female driver and a male passenger parked next to Fisher. Investigators saw Fisher remove a box from the trunk of his vehicle, place the box inside the Honda SUV, then return to his vehicle and leave the area. The Honda drove away in a different direction. Investigators conducted a traffic stop of the Honda a short time later and obtained consent to search the vehicle from the driver and from the passenger, Co-Conspirator 3. Investigators located the box Fisher had placed in the Honda, which contained packages of bulk currency, totaling approximately $190,020.
Co-Conspirator 3 then gave investigators consent to search his residence. Two duffle bags containing approximately 30 kilograms of cocaine were seized, along with two additional duffle bags that contained approximately $193,980 in narcotics proceeds. The amount of cash located in the residence did not include the approximately $190,020 that Fisher provided to Co-Conspirator 3 earlier that day.
A few days later, search warrants were executed at six locations in Maryland associated with Fisher and Pitts and at a residence in Las Vegas, Nevada, which was used by Fisher. In addition, on September 1, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant at a house in Hanover, Maryland—an additional residence used by Fisher. Investigators seized 15 firearms—six firearms from locations associated with Pitts and nine firearms from locations associated with Fisher—along with kilogram quantities of cocaine, fentanyl, and marijuana. In total, during the investigation law enforcement seized approximately 35 kilograms of cocaine, approximately 6.5 kilograms of fentanyl, and approximately 50 kilograms of marijuana. In addition, investigators seized approximately $1,501,308, which was proceeds from the sale of narcotics.
Investigators also executed search warrants on cellular telephones seized from Fisher and others. One of Fisher’s cell phones contained photographs of a drug ledger sent to Fisher from a narcotics source of supply. The ledger confirmed that between November 2019 and May 2020, the conspiracy obtained more than 115 kilograms of cocaine and 2 kilograms of fentanyl in California and mailed the drugs to Maryland for distribution. In several instances, the dates and quantities on the ledger correspond to CCTV footage of Fisher in a Los Angeles Post Office mailing packages to Maryland. In total, between July 2019 and August 2020, the conspiracy was responsible for mailing approximately 121 parcels from Los Angeles-area Post Offices to locations in Maryland.
Co-defendant Dwight Antonio Pitts, age 47, of Hanover, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison on March 1, 2022.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
The overdose crisis continues to devastate states and local communities. If you believe you may need substance use disorder treatment or recovery services, please call 1800-662-HELP (4357). You may also visit the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland for further information and resources on opioid awareness here.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the MSP, USPIS, and DEA for their work in the investigation and thanked the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles DEA for their assistance. Mr. Barron also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Anatoly Smolkin, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Romano, who prosecuted the case.
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