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Annapolis gang leader sentenced to 20 years in prison

Phil Davis
Contact Reporterpdavis@capgaznews.com

An Annapolis man was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to leading a drug trafficking organization in the city that had street level dealers and civilian Sheriff’s Office employees under its employ.

Saying there was “no doubt in my mind” that Traymont Wiley, 28, of Annapolis, deserved the time in prison, Judge William Mulford handed down the sentence as Wiley’s friends and family grieved in the audience.

Wiley pleaded guilty to being a drug kingpin in January as prosecutors said he led a drug trafficking organization, or “gang” as defined by the criminal charges, that sold heroin and fentanyl in the Annapolis area dating back to 2011.

The 28-year-old’s sentencing is part of a months-long investigation into the organization.

Court documents revealed how police used wiretaps and controlled drug buys to link Wiley to 11 other people and former county Sheriff’s Office employee Chanel Holland, who pleaded guilty to leaking information to Wiley and others.

With enough family and friends in attendance to require more security inside the courtroom, Wiley turned to those in attendance and said “I love you all.”

“No matter where I go, I’m going to be good,” he added.

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The outpouring of support was in stark contrast to what Mulford and Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Steinhardt outlined as a career in dealing deadly drugs.

Mulford said before sentencing him that, while selling heroin isn’t considered a violent crime, it has killed scores of people in Anne Arundel County as it has been increasingly mixed with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid more powerful than heroin.

Police said that they bought heroin four different times from dealers under Wiley’s control and all four tested positive for fentanyl.

“There’s just no doubt in my mind you earned 20 years in prison,” Mulford said.

And as the judge addressed Wiley about his outpouring of support, which required the court to bring in additional sheriff’s deputies for security, he said “it’s got to be disappointing to them.”

Steinhardt briefly addressed Wiley’s role, pointing to State Police’s investigation, in which Wiley was accused of dropping 491 grams of heroin and fentanyl while running from police.

Steinhardt said Wiley should be held to a “degree of responsibility” for all of the drug sales that happened as a result of his organization.

Steinhardt also addressed how Wiley was able to learn of his pending arrest prior to the charges being made public.

The prosecutor said Holland — who faces 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to sharing privileged information about pending arrests with the gang — called Wiley first and said the episode “calls into question the integrity of the court system.”

Holland is set to be sentenced March 26.

Wiley’s attorney, Brian Bishop, requested Wiley be admitted into a drug rehabilitation program at the Patuxent Institution, a maximum security prison in Jessup.

He pointed to the fact Wiley’s most recent conviction was in 2013 after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute narcotics and received a sentence of probation before judgement.

Bishop added Wiley “took full responsibility on Jan. 3” when he entered his guilty plea.

In addition to Wiley, Judge Mulford sentenced Willie James Rhodes, 29, of Annapolis, to 12 years in prison for his role in the organization.

Rhodes entered an Alford plea — effectively pleading guilty without the actual admission of guilt — to participating in a criminal gang and conspiracy to distribute narcotics on Jan. 3.

Mulford and Steinhardt described Rhodes as a street level dealer, not quite at the level of Wiley but higher than some other dealers their defense attorneys say were feeding their addiction through selling for Wiley.

Steinhardt said Rhodes was “a regular salesperson within the drug organization” and ultimately changed his activities once word of his pending arrest leaked back to the group through Holland.

Rhodes’ attorney, Brennan McCarthy, said the 29-year-old has two children and wants to support them and their mother moving forward.

“He wants to learn a job where he can support his two kids,” McCarthy said

Wiley and Rhodes were among a dozen people prosecutors linked to the organization’s drug trafficking operations in Anne Arundel County.

Vincent Todd Clark, who prosecutors characterized as Wiley’s lieutenant, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in January after pleading guilty to participating in a criminal gang and conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

Nine others faced gang- or drug-related charges related to the alleged drug trafficking organization.

  • Quentin Jamar Jones, 32, of Annapolis — Set to be sentenced April 5 after pleading guilty to participating in a criminal gang and conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
  • Bdonshee Antonio Wells, 25, of Annapolis — Sentenced to 15 years in prison, suspending all but eight years of active incarceration after he entered an Alford plea to one count of participating in a criminal gang and another count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
  • Ashley Jaxel, 29, of Upper Marlboro — Sentenced to 20 years in prison, suspending all but 10 years of active incarceration after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
  • Richard Mattingly, 32, of St. Mary’s County — Pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. Originally faced four misdemeanor drug charges.
  • Timothy Aminzadeh, 43, of Arnold — Sentenced to 14 years in prison, suspending all but seven years of active incarceration after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
  • Ronald McElwain, 33, of Parkville — Sentenced to 10 years in prison, suspending all but 18 months of active incarceration after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
  • Sterling Nugen, 36, of Calvert County — Sentenced to five years in prison, suspending all but six months of active incarceration after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
  • Carlos Wallace, 34, of Annapolis — Awaiting trial on three drug distribution cases, two in Anne Arundel and one in Baltimore city.
  • Cornell Corey Contee, 29, of Centreville — Sentenced to three years in prison, suspending all but 60 days of active incarceration after pleading guilty to illegal possession of a firearm investigators say was related to a firearms sale to the organization.
This story has been updated to correct the photo of Traymont Wiley and others charged with him in an Annapolis drug gang.
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