Laurel Narcotics Trafficker Pleads Guilty to Bringing Large Quantities of Fentanyl, Cocaine and Marijuana from California to Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland – Michael Fisher, a.k.a. Mark Wilson, age 47, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty on September 24, 2021, to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana and distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. 

The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Superintendent Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III of the Maryland State Police; Postal Inspector in Charge Daniel A. Adame of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division; and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office.

“Our law enforcement team here in Maryland is focused on prosecuting individuals like Michael Fisher who are importing large quantities of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs into the state,” said Acting United States Attorney Jonathan Lenzner.  “The members of this nationwide narcotics conspiracy were responsible for the distribution of hundreds of kilograms of dangerous drugs.  This investigation reflects the positive impact that law enforcement can have on our communities, not only here in Maryland but across the country.”

According to his guilty plea, since November 2019, the Maryland State Police (“MSP”), Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), United States Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”) were investigating a drug trafficking conspiracy involving Michael Fisher (a.k.a. Mark Wilson) who was distributing fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan areas.  During the investigation, investigators obtained court-authorized wiretaps of Fisher and Co-Conspirator 1 in which they discussed the distribution of fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana with each other and with other individuals.  Investigators also conducted surveillance during which they observed drug transactions by both the Defendant and Co-Conspirator 1.

During the conspiracy, Fisher and Co-Conspirator 1 traveled to California multiple times to obtain kilograms of cocaine and fentanyl.  Once in possession of the narcotics, Fisher or Co-Conspirator 1 used the U.S. Mail to ship the narcotics back to Maryland for distribution.  

In May 2020, during drug interdiction activities at a Unite States Postal Service processing and distribution center in Capitol Heights, Maryland, postal inspectors interdicted multiple U.S. Mail parcels, including a parcel bound for a location in Laurel, Maryland that was identified as a location maintained by Fisher.  On May 22, 2020, the Honorable Charles B. Day authorized a search warrant for this parcel, and investigators recovered approximately 2 kilograms of cocaine from the parcel.

Between June 1, 2020 and June 3, 2020, investigators intercepted several telephone calls between Fisher and Co-Conspirator 2.  Based on the content of the intercepted phone calls, investigators believed that Fisher and Co-Conspirator 2 were arranging a drug transaction.  On June 3, 2020, investigators intercepted a call between Fisher and Co-Conspirator 2 during which they agreed to meet in Hanover, Maryland.  During surveillance, investigators observed Co-Conspirator 2 exit his vehicle, walk to Fisher’s vehicle, and retrieved an object from Fisher.  The object was later determined to be a heat-sealed bag containing approximately 501 grams of fentanyl.  Co-Conspirator 2 walked back to his vehicle and placed the object into the vehicle’s trunk. 

Later that day, at the request of investigators, Troopers with MSP conducted a traffic stop of Co-Conspirator 2’s vehicle and located a heat-sealed bag containing a pink powdery substance, later revealed to be fentanyl with a net weight of approximately 501.9 grams.  Fisher admits that he distributed the fentanyl to Co-Conspirator 2 during their earlier meeting that day in Hanover, Maryland.

A few months later, on August 6, 2020, USPIS received an alert that two Priority Mail parcels had been sent from the El Segundo Branch Post Office in El Segundo, CA on the previous day, August 5, 2020.  The parcels were bound for locations in Maryland associated with Fisher and the conspiracy.  These two parcels were seized by investigators in Maryland before they were delivered.  On August 13, 2020, the Honorable Thomas M. DiGirolamo authorized a search and seizure warrant for both of the parcels.  One parcel was found to contain approximately 2,086 grams of cocaine and the second parcel contained approximately 2,110 grams of fentanyl.  Investigators obtained video surveillance from the El Segundo Branch Post Office, which showed Co-Conspirator 1 at the post office at the time the parcels were mailed.

On August 4, 2020, court-authorized cell phone location data showed Co-Conspirator 1’s cell phone in the area of 3828 North Peck Rd, El Monte, California.  On August 13, 2020, investigators located Fisher driving along California Interstate 15 South, in a rented Nissan Sentra.    Investigators followed Fisher to the Northgate Market parking lot located at 3828 North Peck Rd, El Monte, California—the same location where Co-Conspirator 1’s cell phone was located several days earlier.  After circling the parking lot several times, Fisher parked.  Shortly thereafter, investigators observed a white Honda SUV with a female driver and a male passenger park next to Fisher’s vehicle.  Fisher exited his vehicle, removed a box from the trunk of his vehicle, and placed the box inside of the Honda SUV.  Fisher returned to his vehicle and departed, and the two occupants in the Honda departed in a different direction.  Investigators conducted a traffic stop of the Honda shortly thereafter and obtained consent to search the vehicle from the driver and from the passenger, Co-Conspirator 3.  After searching the vehicle, investigators located the box that Fisher had placed in the Honda.  The box contained several packages of bulk currency, totaling approximately $190,020.

Co-Conspirator 3 then gave investigators consent to search his residence.  A search of the residence revealed two duffle bags containing approximately 30 kilograms of cocaine, along with two additional duffle bags that contained narcotics proceeds.  The amount of currency located in the residence totaled approximately $193,980, not including the approximately $190,020 that the Defendant provided to Co-Conspirator 3 earlier that day.

On August 14, 2020, the Honorable Thomas M. DiGirolamo authorized search warrant for the six locations in Maryland.  On August 17, 2020, the Honorable Cam Ferenbach, United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Nevada, authorized a search warrant for a residence in Las Vegas, Nevada.  These search warrants were executed on August 17, 2020.  In addition, on September 1, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant at a house in Hanover, Maryland, which was an additional residence used by Fisher.  During the execution of the search warrants, investigators seized numerous firearms, kilogram quantities of narcotics, and large amount of U.S. Currency.

Investigators also executed search warrants on cellular telephones seized from Fisher and others.   One of Fisher’s cell phones contained photographs of a drug ledger, which was sent to Fisher from a source of supply of narcotics.  The ledger confirms that between November 2019 and May 2020, the conspiracy obtained more than 115 kilograms of cocaine and 2 kilograms of fentanyl from California and mailed it back to Maryland for distribution.  In several instances, the dates and quantities on the ledger correspond to CCTV footage of Fisher in a Los Angeles Post Office mailing packages back to Maryland.  For example, the ledger indicates that Fisher obtained 10 kilograms of cocaine on December 11, 2019, which corresponds to CCTV footage of Fisher on December 11, 2019 in a Los Angeles-area Post Office personally mailing 5 packages to Maryland.  In total, between July 2019 and August 2020, the conspiracy was responsible for mailing approximately 121 parcels from Los Angeles-area Post Offices to locations in Maryland.  The narcotics accounted for in the drug ledger represent only 47 of those parcels.

In total, during this investigation, investigators seized 15 firearms—9 firearms from Fisher and 6 firearms from Co-Conspirator 1—along with approximately 35 kilograms of cocaine, approximately 6.5 kilograms of fentanyl, and approximately 50 kilograms of marijuana.  In addition, investigators seized approximately $1,501,308, which Fisher admits constituted proceeds from the sale of narcotics.

Fisher and the Government have agreed that, if the court accepts the guilty plea, Fisher will be sentenced to between 12 and 15 years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher has not scheduled a sentencing hearing at this time.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

The overdose crisis continues to devastate our states and local communities. If you believe you may need substance use disorder treatment or recovery services, please call 1800-662-HELP (4357). You may also visit the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland for further information and resources on opioid awareness at https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/page/file/1390896/download.

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the MSP, USPIS, and DEA for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner also thanked the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles DEA, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anatoly Smolkin, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Romano, who are prosecuting the case.

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