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

April 5, 2010

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney

Contacts: Vickie E. LeDuc, Public Information Officer

Marcia Murphy

(410) 209-4885

(410) 962-3091 (fax)

Temple Hills Drug Dealer Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison on Gun and Drug Charges

Greenbelt, Maryland — U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Salah Murad Benson, age 37, of Temple Hills, Maryland, today to 15 years in prison followed by eight years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Washington Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Roberto L. Hylton of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

According to Benson’ guilty plea, as a result of information obtained from a confidential source, law enforcement officers conducted surveillance at 3610 Dixon Street in Temple Hills, Maryland. Officers saw a 2004 Hummer at that address which was registered to Benson. A further record check revealed that Benson had multiple arrests for narcotics and gun violations. On March 31, 2009, officers collected the trash from 3610 Dixon Street that had been placed at the curb for collection and recovered documents tying Benson’s to that address and a plastic baggie that tested positive for cocaine. On April 8, 2009, a search warrant was executed at 3610 Dixon Street and officers recovered approximately 1.7 kilograms of cocaine, 28 grams of heroin, 4 grams of crack cocain, PCP residue, 435 grams of marijuana, various scales and other drug paraphernalia, a loaded Bryco Arms Jennings nine millimeter handgun with its serial number obliterated, a Smith & Wesson bulletproof vest, and approximately $18,770 in cash. The only individuals present in the residence were Benson and his female friend.

As part of his plea agreement, Benson has consented to the entry of orders of forfeiture for $19,566 in cash; a Smith & Wesson bulletproof vest; a 2007 Mercedes Benz CLS 500; a 2006 Mercedes Benz CLK 500; assorted jewelry valued at approximately $12,501.22; and the Bryco Arms Jennings nine millimeter pistol with ammunition.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Christen Sproule and Deborah A. Johnston, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.