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Two plead guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine in Harford County wiretap case

Two Harford County men charged in a sweeping wiretap investigation out of Harford County have each pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base, Maryland’s U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Reginald Leon Bolden, 37, of Bel Air, and Tremayne Gerrad Murphy, 40, of Aberdeen, pleaded guilty Tuesday.

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All told, the months-long drug trafficking investigation led to indictments of 22 people across Maryland’s state and federal courts.

On Feb. 24, 2020, investigators followed Bolden and Murphy as they traveled to Wilmington, Delaware, to meet with a cocaine supplier. After completing a transaction for 9 ounces of the drug, Bolden and Murphy returned to Harford County to sell it. But two days later, Murphy was seen going back to a Wilmington casino to return the cocaine to its supplier as customers had complained about the quality of the cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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After meeting the source, Murphy went back to Harford County, where investigators saw him selling cocaine, the office stated.

Bolden was intercepted while purchasing 3 ounces of crack cocaine from co-defendant Joel Hammond on March 15, 2020, the office stated. Bolden had arranged the transaction through another person who brought the money to Hammond and received a small backpack that investigators believe contained the cocaine, prosecutors said.

Bolden took that backpack to Harford County, where investigators stopped him and searched his car, yielding 16 grams of powder cocaine, 41 grams of crack cocaine, and $660 in cash, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. A search of Bolden’s home uncovered 12 grams of crack cocaine, $2,785 in cash, packaging material and a digital scale that had cocaine residue on it.

Hammond, 35 of Essex, was the first of nine people to plead guilty on the federal side of the indictments. He pleaded guilty July 1 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least 28 grams of cocaine base, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. According to the DOJ, Hammond sold crack cocaine to other members of a drug trafficking organization.

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Bolden agreed that the amount of crack cocaine sold was at least 280 grams but less than 840 grams, the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.

If the court accepts Murphy’s plea agreement, he will be sentenced to between 60 months and 92 months in federal prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 2. Bolden could be sentenced to between eight to nine years in federal prison, and his sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 2. Hammond’s sentencing is set for Oct. 27, and he faces up to six years in federal prison.

The investigation was conducted by the Harford County Drug Narcotics Task Force, which is a multi-jurisdictional entity composed of members of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace police departments, the DEA and Harford State’s Attorney’s Office. It is focused on mid- to upper-level drug, homeland security, and vice issues.

The task force’s investigation led to 22 indictments and uncovered more than 2.5 kilos of cocaine, more than 66 grams of crack cocaine, 69 fentanyl pills, about 435 grams of marijuana, 28 guns, 19 vehicles valued at more than $258,000, and approximately $110,000 seized, the task force announced in early June. The cases are spread across federal and state courts.

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