Woman sentenced to 11 years in prison for role in Baltimore drug ring

A Baltimore-area woman was recently sentenced to 11 years in prison for her role in a heroin ring. Her fate shows just how seriously drug charges are taken by law enforcement.

The 35-year-old Elkton, Maryland, woman was charged with drug conspiracy. Authorities claim she was a courier for a “key player” in a drug ring that caused a lot of violence around the Eastern seaboard. Law enforcement officials have contributed at least four homicides and several shooting incidents in Baltimore to members of the ring.

Evidently the woman pleaded guilty last fall, but the case is being kept secret so law enforcement officers can pursue other suspects in the drug ring, so not much about her plea bargain is known beyond that.

Prosecutors say the woman made “dozens” of trips up to New York City so she could deliver money and return with shipments of heroin. They described her as a “critical part” of the operation, which is believed to have distributed more than 100 kilograms of the drug throughout Baltimore.

A second woman involved with the drug ring pleaded guilty this spring to laundering more than $400,000 made in the heroin scheme. She would pay people for their winning state lottery tickets or take the cash to casinos in Las Vegas. She will be sentenced later this week. The alleged drug kingpin behind the whole scheme is set to go to trial in November.

As you can see, drug-charge convictions carry very serious penalties. Anyone accused of a drug-related offense will want to mount as thorough a defense as possible to escape the risk that penalties will be overly severe.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Accused drug courier in heroin ring is sentenced,” Tricia Bishop, Aug. 22, 2011.

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