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Press Release

West Virginia Heroin Dealer Who Purchased Drugs from the Butler Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to More Than Three Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Possession of a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Sold a Firearm With Laser Sight to the DTO in Exchange for Drugs

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm today sentenced Michael Bailey, age 32, of Winchester, Maryland, to 40 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.  Bailey, a previously convicted felon, sold a firearm to a member of the Gregory Butler Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) in Baltimore in exchange for heroin cut with fentanyl.  (Six members of the Gregory Butler DTO are alleged to be part of the NFL criminal enterprise in southwest Baltimore, engaging in a pattern of criminal racketeering activity including acts involving murder, narcotics trafficking and smuggling, illegal firearms possession, bribery, witness intimidation, and witness retaliation.  The term NFL stands for Normandy, Franklin, and Loudon, which are three adjacent streets that run through the Edmondson Village.)

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Acting Special Agent in Charge Rachel Byrd of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

“Many of the illegal firearms used by gangs in Baltimore are brought into the state by people involved in the drug trade like Bailey,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner.  “In this case, members of the NFL criminal drug enterprise are alleged to have carried out four murders and one attempted murder with illegally possessed firearms like the gun Bailey sold to them.  To reduce the violence in Baltimore, we must go after the drug trade and the guns. we also need to change the culture, so that dealers like Bailey stop thinking of Baltimore as their criminal marketplace. We are committed to working with our law enforcement and community partners to get guns out of the hands of drug dealers and off of our streets, in order to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods.”

According to his guilty plea, from at least December 2018 through February 2019, Bailey, regularly traveled to Baltimore to purchase heroin cut with fentanyl from the Gregory Butler Drug Trafficking Organization (the “DTO”). Bailey then transported the heroin to West Virginia, where he sold it.  Bailey admitted that during this time, he purchased more than 80 grams of heroin cut with fentanyl from the DTO.

As detailed in his plea agreement, on about January 16, 2019, Bailey arranged to sell the DTO a handgun equipped with a laser sight, in exchange for a quantity heroin. The firearm was a Walther P22 pistol, which Bailey stole from a relative.  Bailey transported the gun from West Virginia to Baltimore to sell it.  Investigators later recovered the firearm from a member of the DTO in Baltimore.  Bailey knew that due to his previous felony convictions, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the FBI, the DEA, the Montgomery County and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Lenzner commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the City of Rockville Police Department; the Baltimore County, Howard County, and Montgomery County Police Departments; the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office; the Maryland State Police; the West Virginia State Police; the Virginia State Police; the Warren County (VA) Sheriff’s Department; the Winchester (VA) and Front Royal (VA) Police Departments; and the Frederick County and Howard County State’s Attorney’s Offices.  Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew DellaBetta, who is prosecuting the case.

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Marcia Murphy
(410) 209-4854

Updated May 10, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses