Drug dealer is given 22 years, 6 months

A 36-year-old Baltimore man who admitted that he killed a fellow drug dealer was sentenced in federal court yesterday to 22 1/2 years in prison.

Charles Garrison pleaded guilty in December 2004 to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and using a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

According to the statement of facts presented at his guilty plea, Garrison distributed cocaine, crack and heroin. On April 30, 2004, officers recovered drugs from a South Broadway location and guns and ammunition from another building used by Garrison and his cohort, according to court papers.

As part of his plea agreement, Garrison acknowledged his participation in the killing of James McNeely on March 7, 2004. McNeely, 35, was found dead, with multiple gunshot wounds, in a house in the 200 block of N. Linwood Ave., police reported.

McNeely had been a member of an East Baltimore drug gang. He sold powered cocaine, crack and heroin with Garrison, prosecutors say.

Papers filed in federal court say Garrison was hired by another member of the drug conspiracy to kill McNeely. Garrison pleaded guilty in state court to first-degree murder on Dec. 29, 2004. His sentencing in the murder case is pending.

Matthew Dolan

ATM-thefts suspect seized

Federal agents have arrested a man suspected of being the ringleader of a gang believed to have broken into more than 30 automated teller machines in Maryland and Northern Virginia since 2003.

Tracy D. Fletcher, 29, of Bowie was arrested June 21 at a Wal-Mart in Jackson, Tenn. He appeared in federal court yesterday in Tennessee and is expected to be returned to Maryland within the next few weeks, prosecutors said.

The string of ATM thefts is the largest that federal agents said they have seen in the region by one band of thieves. The most recent theft occurred last month at a First Financial Federal Credit Union cash dispenser on York Road.

Fletcher and three others were arrested in a stolen minivan in Spotsylvania County, Va., in December 2005, according to the FBI. Out on $25,000 bail, Fletcher was supposed to be on electronic monitoring but fled.

Matthew Dolan

A federal judge sentenced a Harford County man yesterday to serve more than nine years in prison for attempting to buy $60,000 worth of heroin from an undercover drug enforcement agent.

Charles Allen, 52, of Abingdon was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. He had pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin.

His co-defendant, Teresa DiMartino, 59, of Bel Air, acted as the go-between in the buy-and-bust drug deal in February, according to court papers filed when she pleaded guilty. Her sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 8.

Matthew Dolan

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