Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

36 S. Charles Street
Fourth Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-2692

(410) 209-4800

TTY/TDD: (410) 962-4462

For Immediate Release

August 26, 2010

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney

Contacts: AUSA Vickie E. LeDuc

Marcia Murphy

(410) 209-4885

(410) 962-3091 (fax)

“Wise Guyz” Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Drug and Gun Offenses

Officers in Allegany County Seized 12 Firearms, Including Loaded Submachine Guns, and at Least 40 Marijuana Plants Grown in a Garage

Baltimore, Maryland — Benjamin Lee, age 25, of Cumberland, Maryland pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, and possession of a gun in furtherance of drug trafficking.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Allegany County State’s Attorney Michael O. Twigg; Cumberland Police Chief Charles H. Hinnant; Frostburg Police Chief William Evans, Jr.; Frostburg University Chief of Police Cindy R. Smith; Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Allegany County Bureau of Police Chief J. Robert Dick. Mr. Rosenstein thanked the Allegany Combined County Criminal Investigations (C3I), for their assistance in this investigation and prosecution.

According to Lee’s plea agreement, Lee and his associates call themselves the Wise Guyz. On September 19, 2009 Lee traded crack cocaine for a handgun. Two days later on September 21, the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigations Unit served search warrants on four locations in Cumberland used by Lee and his conspirators to store and manufacture drugs, and to store guns. From a garage at 1400 Old Oldtown Road, officers seized a loaded handgun, two loaded submachine guns and a shotgun. The second level of the garage was converted to grow at least 40 marijuana plants using artificial light, controlled temperature, and ventilation and irrigations systems. From 12507 Goldens Avenue, 26 Pennsylvania Avenue and 13B Jane Frazer Village, officers seized eight more firearms, bags of marijuana and cocaine, oxycodone pills, hydrocodone pills, a digital scale and $14,249.

Lee faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison for drug trafficking; and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison for the gun offense, consecutive to any other sentence imposed. U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg has scheduled sentencing for November 4, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Peter M. Nothstein, who prosecuted the case.