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Justice News

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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Leader In Baltimore Heroin Distribution Ring Sentenced To Life In Prison

This Was Roy Clay’s Third Felony Drug Trafficking Conviction

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Roy Lee Clay, age 47, of Baltimore, today to life in prison, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin. Judge Blake enhanced Clay’s sentence based upon two previous drug trafficking convictions.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to testimony at Clay’s 14 day jury trial, Clay was one of the leaders of a heroin trafficking organization that operated from April 2009 through November 2011. Clay and co-defendant Walter Powell obtained heroin from co-defendant Danilo Garcia. Garcia employed couriers to transport the heroin from New York to Baltimore and to return cash from the drug sales to New York. Evidence presented at trial included calls on March 6 and March 7, 2011, in which Clay and Garcia discuss a courier coming to Baltimore with heroin. On March 8, 201,1 Clay is overheard arranging to pick up the courier at a restaurant near the Baltimore Travel Plaza. Later that day, law enforcement observed Clay meet briefly with the courier near the restaurant. On March 9, 2011, law enforcement intercepted calls in which Garcia contacted Clay to see how heroin sales were progressing.

At trial, evidence also included that on February 17, 2011, individuals broke into Roy Clay’s home in an attempt to rob him. FBI agents testified that they saw Clay and Garcia running from the house while chased by these robbers. One wiretapped call included Clay discussing individuals breaking into his house and that Clay had to struggle with the robbers, at least one of whom had a gun, before Clay could flee the house.

The jury found that Clay was responsible for the distribution of at least one kilogram of heroin.

Walter Powell, age 61, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the heroin conspiracy and was sentenced to 121 months in prison. Co-conspirator Danilo Garcia, age 43, of Bronx, New York was convicted at trial and sentenced to 188 months in prison for the heroin conspiracy, and for distribution of heroin.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore Police Department, Maryland State Police and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Ayn B. Ducao and Christopher J. Romano, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

Updated January 26, 2015