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Former Baltimore Safe Streets worker sentenced for role in federal drug case

A former Baltimore Safe Streets anti-violence worker who returned to dealing drugs and tried to use his job as cover is headed back to federal prison for another 11 years.

Ronald L. Alexander, 51, was hired by Safe Streets after having served 17 years in federal prison, from 2000 to 2017. The program involves hiring credible messengers from the community to mediate conflict and prevent violence, and it has been targeted for expansion.

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Alexander got ensnared in a federal wiretap investigation that recorded him arranging deals, and authorities knew he wasn’t telling the truth when they seized 100 grams of fentanyl from his vehicle. He claimed he had taken the drugs from a community member as part of his Safe Streets job.

His charges called for a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew DellaBetta asked U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III to “recognize not only the damage Alexander inflicted on his community, but also, his corruptive efforts to use the Safe Streets program to further his drug enterprise.”

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Julie Reamy, Alexander’s defense attorney, said he enjoyed working with Safe Streets and mentoring young men, and was “ashamed” to be headed back to prison. “He was deeply remorseful, and certainly accepted responsibility,” she said.

DellaBetta told the court last year that the case began with an investigation into smuggling at the city’s federal jail, though no details have since emerged about that part of the probe.

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