Penn North Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Jerold Gilliam, age 40, of Baltimore, Maryland to nine years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute a substance containing fentanyl and possession with the intent to distribute a substance containing fentanyl. 

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office.

“The defendant was dealing the deadly narcotic fentanyl in the Penn North area of Baltimore, which is a neighborhood that our Strike Force has prioritized in its enforcement efforts,” said Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner.  “Jerold Gilliam was a narcotics trafficker who polluted our communities with deadly narcotics, and as a result he will spend nearly a decade in federal prison.”

According to his plea agreement, in July 2019, investigators from Drug Enforcement Administration’s Strike Force Group 1 initiated an investigation into the area surrounding the intersection of Pennsylvania and North avenues in Baltimore City. 

Over the course of the investigation, investigators intercepted electronic and wire communications involving Gilliam and drug trafficking activities including the supply, cost, and proceeds of drug transactions. Visual surveillance corroborated calls between co-conspirators including Gilliam retrieving packages and engaging in hand-to-hand narcotics retail sales. On some occasions, Gilliam met other co-conspirators to provide narcotics for co-conspirators to sell to customers. As a result of the investigation, investigators identified Gilliam as an associate of the Bullseye Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO).

Between July 2019 and October 2019, investigators conducted controlled purchases from co-conspirators who had discussed drug trafficking with Gilliam. Chemical analysis of these purchases identified the presence of fentanyl.

As stated in his plea agreement, investigators executed a search warrant on November 21, 2019 for Gillam’s person. Law enforcement recovered 50 gelatin capsules containing approximately 18 grams of fentanyl.

In addition, law enforcement executed a search warrant at various locations associated with the Bullseye DTO and suspected residences acting as narcotics and packing and storage locations. As a result of two executed search and seizure warrants, law enforcement recovered a total of 138 grams of a fentanyl and quinine mixture, 19 grams of fentanyl, a bag containing 268 grams of a fentanyl and acetylfentanyl mixture, cutting agents used in preparing controlled substances, paraphernalia, and packaging materials for drug distribution.

Throughout the course of his involvement, Gilliam agrees that it is reasonably foreseeable that he or other members of the conspiracy distributed at least 400 grams of a mixture containing fentanyl during the conspiracy. 

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.

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner praised the DEA their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Austin, who prosecuted the case.

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