Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

March 7, 2012

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney

Contact: AUSA Vickie E. LeDuc or Marcia Murphy
(410) 209-4885

Violent Career Offender Exiled to Over 17 Years in Prison on Drug Charges

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced James Harris, age 29, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 210 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Judge Quarles enhanced Harris’ sentence upon finding that he is a career offender based on previous convictions for attempted second degree murder and robbery with a deadly weapon.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Debbie D. Bullock of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III of the Baltimore City Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.

According to evidence presented at Harris' five day trial, on September 17, 2008, a Baltimore Police officer who was working undercover near the 2600 block of W. Fairmount Avenue, purchased crack cocaine from James Harris. According to trial testimony, an accomplice directed the officer to Harris as the person who could provide him with crack cocaine. As the officer approached Harris, Harris asked, how many? The undercover officer replied two. Harris directed one of two women near the front entrance of 2603 West Fairmount Avenue, go get him two. The woman went into 2603 West Fairmount Avenue and Harris told the office to wait around the corner. A few minutes later, the woman came around the corner and the officer gave her two prerecorded ten dollar bills in exchange for two black-top vials containing crack cocaine.

Within a few moments, Baltimore City officers located and arrested Harris and the two women near 2603 W. Fairmount Avenue. Officers searched the woman who had delivered the drugs and recovered the prerecorded buy money from her, and numerous baggies and black-top vials of crack cocaine and a cocaine/heroin mix from her purse, along with several vials of heroin. A subsequent search of 2603 W. Fairmount Avenue recovered zip lock baggies and numerous empty black-top vials, identical to the ones given to the officer.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Baltimore Police Department and the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Michael C. Hanlon, who prosecuted the case.