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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 10, 2015

Virginia Cocaine Dealer and Member of the Jenifer Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

Members of the Jenifer Drug Trafficking Organization Delivered Kilograms of Cocaine to Simmons in Virginia for Distribution in the Washington Metro Area

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Thomas Simmons, age 38, of Hampton, Virginia, today to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, in connection with his participation in the Jenifer drug trafficking organization (Jenifer DTO).

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge Shawn R. Ellerman of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Special Agent in Charge Thomas Jankowski of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; Interim Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.

According to his plea agreement, from September 2012 to October 2014, the Jenifer DTO supplied Simmons and others with kilogram-quantities of cocaine for distribution in and around the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan areas.  The Jenifer DTO obtained its cocaine from suppliers in or around Houston, Texas.  The Jenifer DTO transported money hidden in secret compartments in “courier vehicles” from Baltimore to Houston.  The cocaine was then transported from Houston to Baltimore in the secret compartments in the courier vehicles.  In September 2012 and July 2013, courier vehicles for the Jenifer DTO were intercepted in Chambers County, Texas and in Arkansas.  The vehicles contained approximately 30 kilograms and 23 kilograms, respectively, of cocaine hidden in secret compartments.  Between August 2013 and October 2014, approximately 30 shipments of cocaine were made to the Jenifer DTO.

Since June 2013, members of the Jenifer DTO made approximately 16 trips to Woodbridge, Virginia, to deliver kilograms of cocaine to Simmons.  For example, on June 16, 2014, a co-defendant met Simmons in Woodbridge, Virginia to deliver four kilograms of cocaine.  During a court-authorized wiretap law enforcement intercepted phone calls between Simmons and other members of the Jenifer DTO discussing and arranging deliveries of cocaine to Simmons.  On June 24, 2014, during an intercepted phone call a co-conspirator advised Simmons that he would deliver “a deuce,” or two kilograms of cocaine, to Simmons.  On June 25, 2014, law enforcement agents observed Simmons and the co-conspirator meet in Woodbridge, Virginia, and exchange a black bag.  The two men left the area and Simmons was covertly followed by the Virginia State Police.  Simmons was stopped by the Virginia State Police and a K-9 unit arrived at the scene to scan Simmons’s vehicle.  The K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle and the vehicle was searched.  During the search law enforcement officers located a hidden compartment in the rear cargo area of Simmons’s vehicle that contained two kilograms of cocaine in a black bag and scented dryer sheets.

Simmons admitted that he was a member and co-conspirator of the Jenifer DTO, which was responsible for trafficking no less than 750 kilograms of cocaine from Houston to Baltimore from August 2013 to October 2014.

Co-conspirators William Hegie, age 54, Kermit Clark, age 44, and Elroy Johnson, age 49, all of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the conspiracy and were each sentenced to 10 years in prison.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA, IRS Criminal Investigation and Baltimore City and County Police Departments for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney John W. Sippel, Jr., who prosecuted the case, and expressed his appreciation to the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of Texas and the Southern District of New York for their assistance in this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated August 10, 2015