Baltimore cocaine dealer sentenced to 12+ years

US Attorney’s Office, 1/11/11

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Tavon Bernard Johnson, a/k/a “Brandon Thomas” and “Keith Bernard Miller,” age 21, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 151 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Quarles enhanced Johnson’s sentence upon finding that he is a career offender, based on two previous felony drug convictions.

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

“A violent offender who has two felony drug convictions does not belong on the streets of Baltimore,” says ATF’s Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop. “We are proud to work investigations that banish these chronic repeat offenders from our communities, and penalizes them with federal jail time as a consequence for their actions.”

According to Johnson’s plea agreement, on September 24, 2010, Baltimore Police Department detectives were conducting surveillance in the 1900 block of Hollins Street in Baltimore. They saw Johnson and another man walk from the rear of 1932 Hollins Street to the rear of 1930 Hollins Street, an abandoned residence with a cinder-block wall along the rear. One of the detectives watched as the second man reached into his waistband and removed a black bag, then took a black handgun from the bag and handed the gun to Johnson. Johnson placed the handgun above the cinder-block wall behind some pieces of wood and the second man hid the black bag at the base of the cinder-block wall, covering the bag with a piece of plywood. Johnson and the other man returned to the front of the residence and were arrested. The detectives recovered the gun, a loaded Hi-Point, model C9, 9mm Luger pistol, with an obliterated serial number and from the black bag the detectives recovered 51 clear glass jugs, each containing cocaine. Detectives recovered an additional 18 yellow-top vials also containing cocaine from a zip-lock baggie found in the black bag.

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 prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Debra L. Dwyer, who prosecuted the case.

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