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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 9, 2016

Leader of Washington, D.C. Metro Area Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to over 11 Years in Prison

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Marvin Taaff, age 29, of Takoma Park, Maryland, today to 140 months years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, cocaine base and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. 

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Frank Riehl of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Acting Chief Stanley Johnson, of the Maryland National Capital Park Police, Prince George’s County Division; Chief Antonio DeVaul of the Maryland National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.  

According to his plea agreement, from April to October 2013, Taaff distributed cocaine base (crack cocaine) during several controlled purchases with a law enforcement source. Further investigation revealed that Taaff was a significant local distributor of marijuana, cocaine and cocaine base.  Taaff, who was a leader of the drug operation in Maryland, coordinated the shipments of controlled substances from sources within and outside Maryland, including Arizona.  He directed other members of his drug trafficking organization to provide locations to store and distribute drugs. 

On December 5, 2013, search warrants were executed at several locations in and around Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, and in Tucson, Arizona, including Taaff’s residence and the residences of his co-conspirators.  Narcotics, drug paraphernalia, shipping materials, cash, and firearms were seized from locations associated with the conspiracy.  Law enforcement seized a .38 caliber revolver with an obliterated serial number and a loaded 9mm pistol; ammunition; a quarter ounce of suspected powder cocaine; and drug paraphernalia, from Taaff’s residence.

The investigation revealed that Taaff conspired with members of his drug trafficking organization to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine, between 196 and 280 grams of cocaine base, and at least 100 kilograms of marijuana.

Phillip Bingham, age 56, of Tucson, Arizona; Mahmood Hussain, age 31, of Laurel, Maryland; Fernando Gastellum-Rivas, age 43, of Tucson; and Annis Attar, age 30, of Largo, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and were sentenced to 11 years in prison, 10 years in prison, 42 months in prison, and 40 months in prison, respectively.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the ATF, Prince George’s County Police Department, Maryland National Capital Park Police and Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Deborah A. Johnston and Lindsay Eyler Kaplan, who prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated June 9, 2016