Two Drug Traffickers Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison
Cocaine and Heroin Transported by Tractor Trailer, and Then by RV, from California to Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Terry James Morris, age 79, of West Rancho Dominguez, California, today to eight years in prison followed by four years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, and obstruction of justice. Chief Judge Blake also sentenced co-defendant Charlie Williams, a/k/a/ “Pee Wee,” age 69, formerly of Los Angeles, California today to eight years in prison followed by four years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey S. Sallet of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Orleans Division; Special Agent in Charge John S. Comer of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Los Angeles, California Division; and Special Agent in Charge Laura A. Bucheit of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Las Vegas, Nevada Division.
Following four days of trial, the defendants entered their guilty pleas to the offenses described above. According to stipulated facts agreed upon by the defendants, from November 2013 to August 2014, Morris was responsible for shipments of kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin from California to Maryland. The initial two loads of cocaine were transported by tractor trailer and delivered to a coconspirator in Maryland. Thereafter, in January 2014, Morris purchased a recreational vehicle (RV) for more than $50,000 in cash, which was then used to transport the drugs from California to a restaurant in Harford County, Maryland.
Morris arranged to have at least three different drivers, including Williams, transport the drugs in the RV to a coconspirator in Maryland. The drivers would also transport drug proceeds from the sale of the narcotics back in the same RV. For example, in the spring of 2014, Williams drove the RV from Compton, California to Belcamp, Maryland. There, he met the coconspirator and delivered more than five kilograms of cocaine. Morris paid Williams $15,000 to drive the RV loaded with the drugs from California to Maryland.
On August 6, 2014, one of Morris’ couriers was arrested after having driven the RV from California to Maryland. Inside the RV, concealed in hidden traps, were 25 kilograms of cocaine and six kilograms of heroin which were supposed to be delivered to the coconspirator in Maryland.
The FBI developed a confidential source (CS) who consensually recorded Morris in phone calls and on video. The FBI also obtained a wiretap on Morris’ cell phone. Numerous phone calls and videos captured Morris discussing his drug activities.
After the courier had been arrested, Morris made a series of phone calls to the CS in whose name Morris had registered the RV. In order to conceal Morris’ involvement, Morris told the CS to first say to law enforcement that he had leased the RV to the courier, then to say that the CS had merely lent the RV to the courier. Morris also provided the CS with the courier’s name, a physical description and a phone number, in the event that the CS was questioned by law enforcement, unaware that the CS had been cooperating with law enforcement.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and DEA for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seema Mittal and Christopher J. Romano, who prosecuted the case.