A federal grand jury has indicted 22 people from Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia on charges that they ran a drug ring that sold heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack, resulting in at least 14 overdoses and five deaths — including the father of one of the defendants.
The office of Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert Hur said in a statement Friday that the defendants were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday. They’re also accused of buying guns from customers (sometimes paying them with drugs).
The defendants, who allegedly knew their drugs were causing overdoses, operated out of houses in and around Baltimore, selling drugs in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, moving their base of operations and rotating various cars to ply their trade and cutting their drugs with substances such as fentanyl and other drugs. Prosecutors called them the Butler Drug Trafficking Organization and said they operated from 2016 until last week.
“Drugs — especially opioids — are killing thousands of Marylanders a year,” Hur said in a statement. “… Drug traffickers are on notice that dealing in fentanyl increases their odds of federal prosecution and federal time.”
The defendants and their charges:
- Michael Bailey, 30, of Winchester, Maryland;
- Donte Bennett, 27, of Baltimore, Maryland;
- Darlene Best, 56, of Baltimore;
- Gregory Butler, 28, of Baltimore;
- Juawan Davis, 24, of Baltimore;
- Timothy Downing, 35, of Mount Airy, Maryland;
- Edward Buddy Hall, 54, of Baltimore;
- Syed Hussain, 25, of Virginia;
- Ryan Johnson, 26, of Montgomery County, Maryland;
- Cindy Legard, 31, of Bunker Hill, West Virginia;
- Kareem Mack, 29, of Baltimore;
- Terrance Medley, 35, of Baltimore;
- Russell Oliver, 43, of Bunker Hill, West Virginia;
- Davon Owens, 31, of Baltimore;
- Desmond Ringgold, 28, of Baltimore;
- James Henry Roberts, 29, of Baltimore;
- Tirrel Saunders, 32, of Baltimore;
- Gary Smith, 20, of Virginia;
- Ann Waugh-Hixon, 48, of West Virginia;
- Laura Warner, 36, of West Virginia;
- Emanuel Watkins, 62, of Baltimore; and
- John Wolfrey, age 39, of West Virginia.
Ten defendants face up to 40 years in prison; 10 defendants face a maximum of life, and two defendants face up to 20 years in prison on federal drug conspiracy charges.
Legard, Hussain, Smith, Mack, Davis, Wolfrey, Bailey, Johnson, Warner, Waugh-Hixon, Owens and Roberts also face up to 20 years in prison for possessing with intent to distribute heroin, crack cocaine or fentanyl.
Davis, Owens, Hall, Butler, Roberts and Medley also face between five years and life in prison on charges of possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
Owens, Hall, Butler, Roberts and Medley face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person.
All the defendants have been arrested except Watkins, who is still being sought.
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