Career Offender Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge for Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine

LegalImage by Mike Braun

BALTIMORE, MD — Khary Owens, age 43, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to his guilty plea, during September and October 2020, detectives from the Baltimore Police Department conducted covert surveillance on a residence in the 500 block of Sheridan Avenue in Baltimore, after receiving information that the residence was being used for drug trafficking.  Detectives saw Owens engage in hand-to-hand drug transactions on the porch and on the sidewalk outside of the residence.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence and for Owens’ person, which was executed on October 7, 2020.  Owens was seen walking to the house, wearing a vest and a backpack, which he hung up on the front porch of the home.  When Owens saw the detectives approaching the residence, he ran through the front door and up the stairs, where he threw a package containing 58 vials of cocaine out of the second-story window and into the backyard.  Detectives staged in the backyard saw the package come out the window and recovered it.  Subsequent laboratory analysis revealed that the vials contained cocaine.

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Owens was arrested and the backpack he left on the front porch was searched.  From the backpack, detectives recovered a medicine bottle filled with a suspected cutting agent, red zip tie baggies, and a .45-caliber pistol loaded with eleven cartridges of .45-caliber ammunition.

Owens and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Owens will be sentenced to between eight and 10 years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for October 20, 2022, at 2:30 p.m.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  PSN, an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime, is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles R. Gamper, who is prosecuting the case.

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