For Immediate Release
Leader of Baltimore Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 17 Years in Federal Prison
Organization Operated in the Montford Avenue Area of Baltimore: Fifteen Other Defendants Have Also Pleaded Guilty to Their Roles in The Drug Conspiracy
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Ernest McRae, a/k/a Rat and Man Man, age 38, of Baltimore, Maryland today to 17 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute heroin, powder cocaine, and crack cocaine.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Baltimore District Office; and Acting Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
According to their plea agreements, from at least January 2012 through October 24, 2017, McRae and co-defendant Jackie Bagley controlled a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that operated in and around 1100 North Montford Avenue in Baltimore, distributing heroin, fentanyl, and powder and crack cocaine. McRae and Bagley supplied lieutenants with drugs on a regular basis. The lieutenants, in turn, supplied street-level dealers, who sold the drugs to users. The street-level dealers were allowed to keep a portion of the proceeds and turned the rest over to the lieutenants, who then turned these profits over directly to McRae and Bagley on a nearly daily basis. Over the course of the conspiracy, over a dozen different street-level dealers worked for the DTO, distributing approximately 375 to 750 ten-dollar doses of heroin on a daily basis. In 2017, McRae began cutting the heroin with fentanyl.
McRae also admitted that on June 25, 2017, he was visiting clubs near Custom House Avenue in Baltimore and got into an argument with a person on the street. McRae went to his car and retrieved a pistol with an extended magazine. A concerned citizen notified nearby Baltimore Police officers, who were on patrol in the area. When McRae realized the police were responding to the area, he hid the firearm in the wheel well of another vehicle. Police recovered the gun and arrested McRae, who subsequently posted bail and was released before being arrested on federal charges.
Fifteen co-defendants, including Jackie Bagley, have pleaded guilty to their roles in the drug distribution conspiracy. Bagley, age 39, of Baltimore was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison and twelve other co-defendants received sentences ranging from time served to 10 years in federal prison.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur praised the ATF, the DEA and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew DellaBetta and Michael C. Hanlon, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.