Using a firearm in connection with the sale or distribution of illicit drugs can result in a much lengthier prison sentence. A Baltimore man was recently sentenced to 125 months in federal prison because he allegedly used a firearm in three robberies and because he admitted that he committed the robberies to fund his drug trade.
The alleged crimes
The robberies were committed on August 4, 6 and 7 at three Maryland convenience stores. When each of the store clerks involved attempted to avoid the alleged robbers, one of them – the man who is receiving the lengthened prison term – allegedly pulled out a handgun and forced the clerk to walk to the cash register area.
The clerks were ordered to open the registers, and the robbers absconded with whatever cash was in the store.
According to news reports, on the evening of August 8, four Baltimore police officers were patrolling a neighborhood in an unmarked car. One of the officers said he spotted a partygoer whose appearance matched the physical description of one of the convenience store bandits.
When officers attempted to approach the man, he threw away the satchel he was carrying and ran into the adjacent neighborhood. Police searched the satchel and discovered that it contained a firearm and multiple baggies containing cocaine packaged for on-the-street sale. The man was soon arrested, and police found that he was carrying $279, money that the man admitted represented the proceeds from recent sales of illegal drugs.
The defendant received a sentence of 125 months of incarceration in a federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Anyone facing criminal charges may wish to consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the evidence, suggested defense strategies, and where appropriate, assistance in negotiating an acceptable plea bargain.