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Crime

Eastport man pleads guilty to drug charge from FBI probe of suspected ring in Annapolis

A Monroe Street resident pleaded guilty this week to a federal drug charge stemming from an FBI investigation into drug trafficking in Annapolis.

Federal agents seized 470 grams of the psychedelic drug PCP, as well as 55 grams of crack cocaine, six grams of heroin, and 71 grams of cocaine when they searched Keith Leslie Brown’s Eastport home in January as part of the investigation, according to the plea agreement filed Monday in U.S. District Court.

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The agreement says that the FBI started surveilling two Eastport residences in April 2021 after Annapolis Police Department officers conducted two controlled purchases involving Brown.

Brown, 63, was on federal release supervision at the time, having served more than a decade in federal prison on a cocaine conviction stemming from another federal investigation into an Eastport drug ring in 2004, according to prison and court records.

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Since he was released from prison in 2018, Brown has been charged locally in several drug cases, but those offenses were eventually dropped, court records show.

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Starting last year, undercover investigators surveilled two residences in Eastport that Brown frequently moved between, his plea agreement states. In January, a person walked from the area of one of the residences and overdosed on PCP right in front of a vehicle being used in the investigation, the plea agreement states.

A week after the overdose, federal agents searched Brown’s car and home, as well as other houses they suspected were involved, , the agreement says. Agents found the drug stash while searching Brown’s home and backyard. Agents also seized more than $30,000 in cash and a loaded handgun from residences they said were associated with Brown.

Brown, who was present during the January raid, was arrested by Annapolis officers and charged with felony drug offenses, which were dropped this month by local prosecutors when he was charged in federal court.

He pleaded guilty on Monday in front of U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar to possession of narcotics with intent to distribute. Because of the amount of PCP involved, he is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Brown is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 29. In the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed with Brown’s lawyer, James Gitomer, to recommend the judge sentence him to the mandatory 10-year minimum for the drug charge, in addition to any sentence he will serve for violating his supervised prison release conditions.


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