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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Prince George’s County Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges For Possession With Intent To Distribute Marijuana And For Possession Of A Firearm In Furtherance Of A Drug Trafficking Crime

Greenbelt, Maryland – James Robert Dorsey III, age 29, of Oxon Hill, Maryland, has pleaded guilty to federal charges for possession with intent to distribute marijuana and for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  The guilty plea was entered on October 2, 2019.  

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

“Armed drug dealers bring both addiction and violence to our streets,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Working together with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, we are determined to make our communities safer by eliminating illegal drug trafficking and gun violence.”

According to his guilty plea, on May 7, 2019, Prince George’s County Police officers received a call for service in the Seat Pleasant area for individuals suspected of smoking and distributing marijuana.  When officers arrived, they observed Dorsey begin to walk away from the area holding the waistband area of his pants, and enter a silver sedan parked nearby.  As Dorsey attempted to drive away he struck a vehicle parked in front of him before responding to officers’ directions to stop, and was subsequently removed from his vehicle.

Dorsey was searched and law enforcement recovered a loaded 9x19 millimeter semi-automatic pistol; approximately 15 grams of marijuana; and $552 in cash.  During a search of the vehicle, law enforcement located a partially unzipped black shoulder bag on the back seat.  Inside the backpack were approximately 11 bags containing a total of 130 grams of marijuana; a digital scale with marijuana residue; and approximately 150 plastic sandwich bags.  Dorsey admitted that he possessed the marijuana with the intent to distribute it.

On June 20, 2019, a search warrant was executed at Dorsey’s residence and law enforcement recovered a Glock switch, which is an aftermarket part that, once installed, converts a semi-automatic pistol into a fully automatic pistol.  The Glock switch itself is defined as a machinegun under the law. 

On July 25, 2019, Dorsey was arrested at a hotel in Largo, Maryland.  While conducting surveillance at the hotel, law enforcement observed Dorsey and another male get into a white Mercedes Benz S560 sedan.  When law enforcement approached Dorsey, he refused to comply with law enforcement’s instructions and was removed from the front driver’s side of the vehicle, placed into handcuffs, and then searched.  As a result of the search, law enforcement recovered the keys for the Mercedes and $3,195 in U.S. currency.  Inside the Mercedes, law enforcement recovered: a loaded 9mm handgun; a compact-sized pistol with no serial number, loaded with a magazine containing eight cartridges and one in the chamber; a 15-round magazine with an extension; a white trash bag containing bags of prepackaged marijuana for distribution, totaling approximately 450 grams; and a digital scale.

Dorsey had a previous felony conviction and therefore was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.  Dorsey admitted that he possessed the firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking.

Dorsey and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Dorsey will be sentenced to between 78 and 114 months in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel has scheduled sentencing for January 3, 2020 at 11 am.

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 ATF and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer R. Sykes, who is prosecuting the case.

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Updated October 3, 2019