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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Lead Defendant in Baltimore Drug Distribution Conspiracy Sentenced to More Than 11 Years in Federal Prison

Admitted Being a Leader of a Drug Shop Distributing Fentanyl, Heroin, and Cocaine, in the German Park Neighborhood of Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Ashley Grossman, age 30, of Baltimore to 135 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine in the German Park area in Baltimore’s Central District.  The sentence was imposed on June 19, 2019.

The sentence 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; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.

“State and federal law enforcement and prosecutors in Baltimore City are working together to arrest and prosecute those who peddle deadly fentanyl on our streets and in our neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “We’re also targeting drug dealers who use guns and increase the risk of gun violence in Maryland.  More and more people are dying from fentanyl overdoses in Baltimore City and throughout the state.  Working together with law enforcement partners, we are determined to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths in Maryland.”

According to her plea agreement, from at least January 2017 through July 2018, Ashley Grossman conspired with others to distribute fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine through a street-level drug shop called the Young Finesse Kings (“YFK”).  Ashley Grossman was one of the leaders of the shop, which operated primarily in the German Park area of Baltimore City.

Law enforcement conducted surveillance of the YFK drug shop and observed many drug transactions, and Baltimore Police officers arrested members of the conspiracy on several occasions.  In addition, law enforcement obtained wiretaps for Ashley Grossman’s cellular phone and intercepted numerous communications with co-conspirators discussing the operation of the drug shop.  For example, in one conversation, Grossman was overheard discussing the payment made to another co-conspirator, Anthony Whitaker, for coordinating the drug sales at the shop.  In addition, law enforcement intercepted a number of communications between Grossman and her supplier, Barry Martin, including several on March 14, 2018, coordinating a meeting that day.  Investigators tried to observe the meeting but arrived just as Grossman’s truck was leaving the location.  Investigators saw Grossman exit the truck carrying a small black bag, which was believed to contain narcotics obtained from Barry Martin, and go into a home in the 1700 block of Hollins Street.  A short time later, another conspirator was seen leaving the home, placing an item in the rear passenger seat of the truck and driving away.   

Law enforcement executed a search warrant at the Hollins Street residence on April 12, 2018 and recovered scales and other drug paraphernalia consistent with the YFK street operations.  On July 11, 2018, law enforcement executed a search at Barry Martin’s residence and recovered two firearms, approximately 529 grams of suspected heroin/fentanyl, 254 grams of suspected cocaine, and $157,658 in cash.

Co-defendants Brandon Reese, a/k/a “Gangsta.” age 36; Ratrez Colson, age 20; Anthony Whitaker III, a/k/a “TY,” age 24; and Barry Martin, age 44, all of Baltimore, have all pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy.  Martin was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison and each of the other defendants faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life in prison.  Judge Blake has scheduled sentencing for Colson on July 12, 2019 at 9:15 a.m.; for Whitaker on August 1, 2019 at 9:15 a.m.; and for Reese on September 20, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.  Four other co-defendants are awaiting trial. 

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, the Baltimore Police Department, the Anne Arundel County Police Department, and the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Goo and Brandon K. Moore, who are prosecuting the case.

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Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated June 20, 2019