BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A former Safe Streets member has been sentenced to over 11 years in Federal Prison for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, heroin and cocaine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Maryland announced Wednesday.

Safe Streets is a community-based program to reduce gun violence in high violence areas of Baltimore. Officials said Ronald Alexander, 50, was employed by Safe Streets while he distributed narcotics.

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According to Alexander’s plea agreement, he operated a “drug shop” in northwest Baltimore. Law enforcement monitored his texts and watched him obtain drugs from his co-defendant, a supplier, outside a gas station multiple times.

Officials said Alexander used his status with Safe Streets to avoid arrest and evade police. In one instance on August 5, Alexander was stopped by an officer after he rolled through a stop sign, and used his connection with the Mayor’s office to wriggle out of further investigation.

“Yeah. Police hopped on me. Told me to get off the phone. You know they scared, you know they scared of the Mayor Office, I said man I work for Safe Streets from the Mayor Office,” Alexander reportedly said on a phone call to a friend after. “I was just coming from one of my participant house, in need with this, it was in need of food due to the pandemic. He say oh, ok ok.”

On August 9, Alexander was pulled over after he was seen in a car with his co-defendant, an accused supplier. When officers found 100 grams of fentanyl in the center console, Alexander told officers he took the drugs from a community member as part of his work with Safe Streets to prevent crime.

According to the court documents, the officers seized the drugs, but did not arrest Alexander. After that, he met with his supplier and threw away the cell phone law enforcement had tapped.

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On August 14, search warrants were executed at multiple locations in the investigation, including Alexander’s house. There, officers seized a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and six cartridges of ammunition, a digital scale and drug packaging material, suspected cutting agents, and Safe Streets clothes.

Alexander was prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition as the result of a 2001 conviction for heroin distribution.

“Ronald Alexander not only polluted the Baltimore community with dangerous drugs and illegally possessed a firearm, but he also risked undermining Safe Streets and other community outreach efforts,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner.  “Our violence reduction strategy is based on strong enforcement efforts focused on those driving the violence and distributing large quantities of narcotics while also providing robust community outreach and prevention initiatives.  Hopefully this sentence will encourage others to put down the gun and give up the drug trade and choose to invest in themselves and their community instead.”

 

 

 

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