Thomas' attorney, Christopher Nieto, saying there was "no excuse" for Thomas' conduct, argued that nonetheless "there is an explanation." When Thomas' prior sentence ended in 2008, he explained, he was not granted six months in a halfway or any re-entry services to reassimilate, but just came home. After he moved to Georgia to escape the "poisonous environment" in Baltimore, a "litany of incidents" befell him, including his brother's death and failed attempts at legitimate business. So, in "an ignorant attempt to try to provide" for his family, "he fell back into a business he knew would succeed." Then the two related cases came down, with Winder and Wiggins on the top of each, and drugs and cash were seized, and he was "now on the hook for an outstanding debt" in the neighborhood of $180,000 to $200,000. The man he owed had "significant connections to a Mexican drug cartel," and it is "still outstanding," Nieto explained, so that was the "reason for the continued activity" after his co-conspirators were taken down in succession.