Police officer pleads guilty to drug charges


A veteran Baltimore police officer pleaded guilty yesterday to federal drug charges for transporting and holding more than a dozen kilograms of cocaine for an associate of a major city drug ring during a 2 1/2 -year period.

James Scott Fullwood - who spent 13 years as a city police officer until his resignation in March, two months after he was arrested - faces a minimum of 10 years in prison on drug conspiracy charges when he is sentenced in September in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Fullwood, 35, of the 8200 block of Featherhill Road in White Marsh, did not comment on his plea in court and declined to comment after the brief proceeding. A spokeswoman for the Baltimore Police Department said police officials had no comment on the plea by Fullwood, who remains on home detention pending his sentencing by U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis.

According to a statement of facts read in court by Assistant U.S. Attorney James G. Pyne, Fullwood was recruited by a drug dealer named Vincent Magliano to pick up cocaine from William Edward "Uncle Bill" Bickford Jr. and keep it in his car until Magliano was ready to sell it.

Bickford's organization regularly got between 5 and more than 7 kilograms of cocaine from a Miami-based supplier, the prosecutor said. Court papers say the Bickford organization sold about $6 million worth of cocaine a year.

On between 15 and 20 occasions, Fullwood picked up and held at least a kilogram of cocaine for Magliano, who paid the officer approximately $500 per kilogram, Pyne said.

In 1998, Magliano recruited Fullwood to act as a courier for another one of his suppliers, Eugene Thomas, Pyne said. Fullwood made four trips to New York during the year for Thomas, returning with between 5 and 7 kilograms of cocaine, Pyne said. Fullwood was paid between $1,000 and $2,000 per trip, Pyne said.

Bickford and three members of his organization have pleaded guilty to federal drug charges. Thomas has been charged and is scheduled for a re-arraignment today, when he is expected to enter a guilty plea. Magliano has not been charged.

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