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Baltimore man whose case was dismissed because of Gun Trace Task Force is among 19 indicted on drug charges

Baltimore man whose case was dismissed because of Gun Trace Task Force is among 19 indicted on drug charges
Ivan Potts talks outside the Baltimore City Correctional Center on April 13, 2017, after being released following 588 days in custody. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

A Baltimore man who spent years in prison after being arrested by a group of corrupt cops — and was freed after the officers were indicted — is behind bars again, charged along with 18 others with being part of a large-scale street gang.

Federal prosecutors charged Ivan Potts along and the others in an indictment unsealed Wednesday. . The document indicates that at least some of the accused had been arrested over the past several weeks.

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Potts was freed from state prison in April 2017 after the officer who arrested him on gun charges, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, was indicted by federal prosecutors on a slew of charges related to his corrupt police work with the Gun Trace Task Force. The Baltimore City State’s Attorney dropped all charges against Potts. At the time Potts insisted he had been framed by the officers and said they planted a gun on him.

The federal indictment claims he was an active participant in the drug operation.

The grand jury also indicted Antonio Johnson, who raps under the name YBG Sosa.

Of the 19 charged in the conspiracy case, three of the defendants — Michael Mercer, Donald McNeill and Robert Jones — are also charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. All three men also face various weapons charges.

According to the indictment, Jones was caught in possession of 400 grams or more of fentanyl on or about April 5 while Mercer and McNeill are charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.

The unsealed indictment is the latest large-scale investigation by federal agents into the state’s illegal arms and drugs markets. Members of the group are charged with selling fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and marijuana in the state.

The U.S. Attorney Office wrote in a news release that an additional man, Michael Williams, 28, of Baltimore, was arrested Wednesday and charged in a separate criminal complaint. The office wrote that he is one of two people named Michael Williams in the case and is not the same man charged in the original indictment.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Baltimore Police investigated the case.

None of the defendants had attorneys listed in federal court records.

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