A federal judge sentenced the last of four defendants in a drug trafficking case Tuesday, which involved more than a kilogram of heroin and distribution in Anne Arundel and Calvert counties.
In a press release, the Department of Justice said the Drug Enforcement Agency started investigating Watson Patrick Bruce, 36, of Millersville for dealing a large amount of drugs in 2018. Todd Rayshard Thomas, 36, of Annapolis and Lawrence Michael Branch, 34, of Odenton were allegedly helping to distribute the drugs, the department said. Thomas also helped collect money.
In May of 2019, police searched Bruce’s home and seized approximately 78 grams of heroin mixed with fentanyl, approximately 69 grams of fentanyl and $12,150 in cash. Another $5,702 in cash, half-gram of heroin, eight grams of fentanyl and two grams of cocaine were on him, the department said.
Police said when they went to search Thomas’ home they found him flushing drugs down the toilet. Branch allegedly threw bags of drugs out his car window when being pulled over while driving, the department said.
U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Bruce to 10 years, Branch to five years, and Thomas to seven years for a conspiracy to distribute heroin, and in Bruce’s case, fentanyl and cocaine as well. Thomas was sentenced Tuesday.
“Bruce admitted that he conspired to distribute and possessed with intent to distribute at least 1.1 kilograms of heroin, 147 grams of fentanyl, 200 grams of powder cocaine and five grams of crack cocaine,” the department said in its news release. “It was reasonably foreseeable to Thomas that at least 300 grams of heroin; 40 grams of fentanyl; and 100 grams of powder cocaine would be distributed in furtherance of the conspiracy. Branch agreed that at least 100 grams of heroin was reasonably foreseeable to him during the course of the conspiracy and he possessed 40 grams of fentanyl/heroin mixture on the day of his arrest.”
Larry Michael Brown, 62, of Baltimore, allegedly supplied heroin, the department said. Brown was sentenced to nine months for using a cell phone to facilitate a drug trafficking conspiracy, the department said. Drugs were not found when searching Brown’s home or car, the department said, but two scales were found with alleged “heroin residue.”
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The case was a part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner said in the statement that he thanks the DEA, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Police Departments for their assistance. He also thanked prosecutors Samika N. Boyd and Joseph R. Baldwin.