(USNewsMag.com) – Authorities in Maryland announced charges related to a major drug operation on Wednesday, February 15th.
According to a press release from the office of Anthony G. Brown, the state’s Attorney General, six people have been indicted for activity relating to an interstate drug trafficking ring. The Drug Enforcement Administration led the investigation. The DEA’s High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Unit worked with Maryland’s Organized Crime unit to investigate the group.
According to their findings, they had been traveling from Houston to Baltimore with money and narcotics from July to October 2022. The defendants allegedly deposited the contraband in a stash house where local distributors would retrieve it and sell it on the street.
When the arrests were made, the six people indicted were found with nearly half a million dollars in cash, firearms including a fully automatic handgun, and large quantitates of cocaine and crack cocaine.
Mexican cartels are in Maryland according to DEA special agent Jarod Forget of the Washington Division Office. He said the cartels are responsible for flooding the state with the worst drugs, including those laced with the deadly fentanyl which has been responsible for a drastic rise in overdose deaths in recent years. In the 12 months ending in October 2022, Maryland suffered 2,454 overdose deaths, the majority of which were due to fentanyl.
According to the Attorney General, disrupting this ring of interstate drug traffickers is a “tremendous step” toward stopping the flow of drugs and guns that plague the Old-Line State’s communities.
The three defendants who were known to travel to and from Houston were charged with multiple crimes including Conspiracy, Participation in a Criminal Organization, and multiple drug possession and distribution charges.
Local Baltimore residents that were arrested due to the investigation allegedly ran safehouses and oversaw distribution networks. One of the local defendants, Medford Smith, was charged with ‘Drug Kingpin,’ which, in the state of Maryland, carries a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
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