DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

Friday, October 8, 2021
Erek L. Barron
, United States Attorney
Contact: Marcia Murphy

Baltimore Man Sentenced to Over Seven Years in Federal Prison for Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced James Dorsey, age 36, of Baltimore, to 90 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. 

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to his plea agreement, on April 23, 2020, a Baltimore Police Department detective observed a vehicle with a Texas One Trip permit, which allows for the temporary movement of a vehicle subject to Texas registration laws and is valid for a period of 15 days from the effective date. The detective knew that these tags were often used fraudulently and confirmed that this one was invalid. After initiating a traffic stop, the detective noted the order of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Dorsey was identified as the driver of the vehicle.  Dorsey did not possess a driver’s license and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

The detectives searched Dorsey’s person incident to his arrest and discovered several items including a tube and a small ziplock bag containing suspected marijuana. A search of the vehicle Dorsey was driving revealed a black plastic bag filled with empty vials, three cell phones, and two vials containing white rock-like substance that tested positive for cocaine. Officers also located 45 gel caps that were subsequently determined to contain fentanyl and tramadol, a burnt cigar containing suspected marijuana, and a .38 caliber semi-automatic pistol loaded with three rounds of ammunition.

After being advised of his Miranda rights, Dorsey admitted to being in the area of the marijuana and knowing that the gun was a .38 caliber firearm. Later, Dorsey made several inculpatory jail calls in which he stated that as he was being pulled over he “hurried up” and put “that stuff” in the glove compartment, so that he could “beat” the criminal charges.

The BPD Drug Analysis Unit tested the substances within all the recovered gelcaps and determined that the gelcaps contained fentanyl and tramadol. Further, the rock-like substance contained in the vials tested positive for cocaine.

Also as part of his plea Dorsey admitted that the control substances located in the vehicle were intended to be sold and distributed and that he knowingly possessed the firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron praised the ATF and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Gallena, who prosecuted the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and programs to combat gun crime, please visit and

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Baltimore Field Division