Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Ernst Harmon, age 37, of Annapolis, Maryland, today to 198 months in prison, and his brother Dontaye Harmon, age 40, of Baltimore, Maryland to 125 months in prison, both followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base. Judge Hollander also ordered Harmon to forfeit a 2004 Land Rover truck, a 1999 Dodge Caravan and $4,050 in cash.
The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Annapolis Police Chief Michael A. Pristoop; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis; Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department; U.S. Marshal Johnny Hughes; and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess.
"We are proud of the excellent work and partnerships that resulted in removing two violent offenders from our streets," said Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop. "This is significant for public safety in Annapolis."
According to their plea agreements, from at least July 2012 until June 2013, Ernst and Dontaye Harmon conspired with their brother, Donwand Harmon, Damian Brown and others to distribute cocaine base to a number of individuals in the Baltimore and Anne Arundel County, Maryland areas.
On July 31, 2012, Baltimore City Police officers stopped Ernst Harmon for a traffic violation. The police seized a hollowed-out cigar filled with raw marijuana and $4,050 from Ernst, and 140 grams of cocaine base and additional raw marijuana from a hidden compartment in his vehicle.
Dontaye Harmon worked with Ernst Harmon to run a drug shop operating out of the projects located at 920 President Street in Annapolis. Law enforcement saw Ernst and Dontaye outside the drug shop regularly making hand-to-hand transactions with customers. Pursuant to a court authorized wiretap on Ernst’s cell phone, law enforcement overheard Ernst arranging sales of cocaine base directly with customers, or instructing customers to deal with Dontaye. Ernst was also overheard calling Dontaye on multiple occasions to warn him that the police were coming, or were outside the drug shop. On two occasions in November 2012 and February 2013, investigators used an individual to purchase a total of 36.9 grams of cocaine base directly from Ernst and Dontaye at the drug shop. On a third occasion in January 2013, the individual made a controlled purchase of 27.2 grams of cocaine base from Ernst at the drug shop.
It was reasonably foreseeable to Ernst and Dontaye that the conspiracy distributed at least 280 grams of cocaine base.
Ernest Harmon also faces attempted murder charges in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court for the September 9, 2012 shooting of two individuals in Annapolis.
Donwand Cuppatino Harmon, age 37, of Annapolis, Maryland, previously admitted that he was responsible for distributing at least a kilogram of heroin during the conspiracy. Judge Hollander sentenced Donwand Harmon on February 7, 2014 to 210 months in prison, and ordered him to forfeit $27,895 in cash, a 2010 Porsche Panamera, a 2008 Mercedes Benz CL550, and jewelry, including a Breitling wrist watch with a diamond face and band.
Damian Brown also pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy on February 3, 2014, and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 17, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the ATF, Annapolis Police Department, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Baltimore Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth S. Clark and Scott Lemmon who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.