Baltimore, Maryland – On November 24, 2020, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Lovell Patterson, age 40, of Baltimore, to 123 months in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, after Patterson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and with violating his supervised release from a previous federal felony drug conviction by committing these crimes.
The guilty plea and sentence were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
“Lovell Patterson admitted that he sold fentanyl—an especially deadly drug, of which just two milligrams can kill you,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “But the organization he worked with also had guns to facilitate their drug dealing. The primary focus of the Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force will continue to be violent DTOs, who bring misery to our streets both through the deadly drugs they import and sell, and through the guns that they wield.”
According to Patterson’s plea agreement, from at least November 2019 through April 16, 2020, Patterson participated in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in and around the 1800 block of Penrose Avenue in West Baltimore. The DTO sold fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine on a daily basis in street-level quantities. During the time of the conspiracy, law enforcement overheard calls between Patterson and other DTO members, conducted surveillance on the DTO, purchased narcotics from DTO members—including Patterson—and executed multiple search warrants at locations used by the DTO to store and process narcotics.
As detailed in the plea agreement, Patterson obtained drugs from suppliers and had a co-conspirator combine drugs with adulterants and package the drugs. Between February 4 and April 1, 2020, Patterson also personally sold fentanyl, fentanyl/heroin gel caps, and cocaine to an undercover officer. For example, on March 2, 2020, Patterson sold an undercover officer six grams of fentanyl and 100 gel caps of a heroin-fentanyl mixture for $1,100. During the conversation Patterson told the undercover officer that he was boss, but let another conspirator run the block. Patterson and the undercover officer also discussed future purchases of drugs.
On April 16, 2020, law enforcement executed search warrants at three houses used by the DTO to process narcotics. During the searches, law enforcement recovered: a loaded 9mm handgun and a fully loaded revolver; a total of $5,701 in cash; 332 grams of fentanyl; hundreds of gel caps; cutting agents; and drug paraphernalia, including gloves, sifters, and scales.
Patterson admitted that he supervised five or more members of the DTO and that he distributed, or knew the members of the conspiracy distributed or possessed with intent to distribute, at least 400 grams of fentanyl and a quantity of cocaine.
This prosecution was brought as a part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Co-located Strike Forces Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations against a continuum of priority targets and their affiliate illicit financial networks. These prosecutor-led co-located Strike Forces capitalize on the synergy created through the long-term relationships that can be forged by agents, analysts, and prosecutors who remain together over time, and they epitomize the model that has proven most effective in combating organized crime. The specific mission of the Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force is to reduce violent, drug-related, and gang crime in the Baltimore area and surrounding region.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur praised the DEA and Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lindsey N. McCulley and Clinton J. Fuchs, who prosecuted the case.