Baltimore, Maryland – Mark Williams, a/k/a Swanny, age 52, of Elkton, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. Williams has prior criminal convictions including a 2001 drug felony offense for the distribution of cocaine. Two other defendants, Kevin Johnson and Troy Neal, were indicted with Williams in 2020 and are pending trial September 27, 2021. An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Superintendent Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III of the Maryland State Police; and Cecil County Sheriff Scott Adams.
According to his guilty plea, the Maryland State Police, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Homeland Security identified Williams and two co-conspirators as suppliers of cocaine after an extended investigation dating back to 2019. The conspiracy members distributed crack cocaine to multiple customers in Elkton, Maryland.
During the investigation, the Cecil County Circuit Court issued an order to authorize the interception of wire and electronic communications of Williams and his co-conspirators. Intercepted text and telephone communications revealed Williams as a member of the drug distribution conspiracy.
Law enforcement intercepted at least eight instances in which Williams, or his co-conspirators, conversed in coded conversations about drug activity. For example, on May 27, 2020, after a series of calls between a co-conspirator and a customer, police observed Williams and a co-conspirator visit a customer’s residence. Shortly after their arrival, two male customers entered the co-conspirator’s residence. After one of the two male customers left the residence, police conducted a traffic stop and seized 3.6 grams of crack cocaine.
As stated in his plea agreement, after a series of coded calls among Williams and two co-conspirators law enforcement covertly surveilled the three men depart Neal’s residence and travel to the Bronx in New York, a known source area for cocaine. The next day, on June 14, 2020, law enforcement observed the three men travel back to a Maryland residence. Law enforcement executed a search warrant at a co-conspirator’s residence and recovered 497 grams of compressed suspected cocaine, several bags of suspected marijuana, a digital scale, and several cell phones.
Police arrested Williams, Neal and Johnson. Each were charged in Cecil County with various drug-related crimes.
Other evidence corroborates Williams’s involvement in drug trafficking including a lack of legitimate employment to support his life expenses. According to the IRS, Williams had reportable wages of approximately $6,000 in 2019 and less than $5,000 in 2020. Additionally, two witnesses would advise that they regularly purchased crack cocaine from Williams and a co-conspirator from February 2020 to May 2020.
Williams and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Williams will be sentenced to seven years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for October 5, 2021 at 11 a.m.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the HSI, the Maryland State Police Department, and the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and Kim Y. Oldham, who are prosecuting the case.
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