Three Maryland men have been indicted in connection with an alleged conspiracy to distribute the powerful opioid fentanyl provided by a Mexican cartel, the U.S. attorney’s office said Thursday.
Nevone McCrimmon, 47, of Edgewood; William Elijah, 51, of Baltimore; and Terrance Mobley, 50, of Baltimore are charged with an alleged conspiracy to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl.
Law enforcement officials allege the men were high-ranking members of a Baltimore-based drug trafficking organization that imports and distributes heroin, opioids and other drugs, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.
Starting in fall 2017, officials said, the men regularly purchased drugs by the kilogram from a Miami-based drug trafficking organization, which had ties to Sinaloa and Tijuana Mexican drug cartels, the release states.
The drugs allegedly were delivered by the cartel to a contact in Ventura County, Calif., and then shipped to the men in Maryland, according to the release.
“Fentanyl is one of the most lethal threats facing Maryland right now. As little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose, and the 20 kilograms of fentanyl seized in this case to date is enough to kill 10 million people — more than one and a half times the population of Maryland,” Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said in the release. “We are working with our partners to attack the sources of supply, as well as the street dealers who are committing the most violence in our neighborhoods.”
Fentanyl, which is about 50 times more powerful than heroin, is sometimes mixed with heroin by dealers to give users a more potent high.
The synthetic opioid is blamed for the epidemic of overdose deaths nationwide. Of Maryland’s 1,185 opioid overdoses in the first half of 2018, more than three-quarters involved fentanyl.
Both McCrimmon’s attorney, A. Eduardo Balarezo, and Mobley’s attorney, Julie Marie Reamy, declined to comment on the charges Thursday. Elijah’s attorney, Lawrence Rosenberg, did not return messages requesting comment Thursday.
If convicted, the men each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, the release states.