BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Prosecutors indicted seven suspected drug dealers and seized a large amount of fentanyl after a drug sting in Baltimore.
Baltimore Police’s West Side Major Case Squad and the city state’s attorney’s office announced the indictment of seven members of a suspected drug trafficking ring. They were charged with several counts from conspiracy to volume dealer as well as possession with intent to distribute.
“They were selling fentanyl. They were selling cocaine, and they were trafficking large quantities of these deadly drugs,“ Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren in a one-on-one interview Tuesday. “We all know there is a correlation between drug trafficking and violence because there’s competitiveness over the market. There are retaliatory acts. All of these things fuel violence, which we struggle with.“
The investigation into the “One Way” drug ring began in April. Detectives say the drug ring allegedly operated in the 1800 block of West Lombard Street and were trafficking fentanyl throughout the city between April and September 2020.
The seven suspects, including Javahn Wilson and Richard Cooper, face a total of 30 counts.
Police did not release the names of the other five suspects. Their arrests are pending.
They are all presumed innocent unless they are convicted in court.
The indictment announcement follows the recent ruling by the medical examiner’s office that one-year-old Demi Houwen died from a mixture of fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl. She lived in the unit block of N. Gilmor Street and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital on April 7, according to police. The commissioner has not said the cases are linked.
“The overdose is under investigation of the one-year-old,” Harrison said. “It’s not yet known whether that overdose was tied to any fentanyl distributed by any one of those seven individuals, but certainly it is overdoses like that which shock the conscience and hit hard at families and communities.”
Homicide detectives are still looking into the baby’s death.
The area has seen recent violence.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) September 16, 2020
More than 25 rounds were fired during a shooting on September 15th.
Police also seized suspected cocaine, suspected fentanyl, other suspect CDS, cutting agents, ammunition, drug paraphernalia and $22,000 in cash.
Police targeted a cut house in the 1800 block of Fairmount Avenue, a stash house on the 800 block of Fairmount Avenue, members’ homes on Cherry Hill Road, Lincoln Avenue and West Baltimore Street. Police also searched two vehicles.
“They’re now looking collectively at the potential for 480 years if convicted,” Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby told WJZ. “It just illustrates the need for continuous partnership and collaboration, and that’s the key to addressing and changing the trajectory of our city.“
The investigation was partially funded by the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services.
“We are pleased to provide resources that allow police and prosecutors to address the violent crime crisis in Baltimore City, and make progress in realizing Governor Hogan’s vision for making communities in Baltimore City safer,” said Executive Director Glenn Fueston of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services. “We see time and again that drug trafficking is responsible for a large portion of violence in Baltimore City. Dismantling this organization through the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network means there are fewer drugs and fewer violent repeat offenders terrorizing our communities.”