Baltimore, Maryland – Julian Gray, age 49, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Baltimore District Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
According to Gray’s guilty plea, in 2020 the DEA began surveilling street-level drug activities and making undercover purchases of fentanyl. During the surveillance, Gray was identified as a potential co-conspirator when he was seen meeting with drug dealers who sold narcotics to the undercover officers.
On September 15, 2020, DEA agents saw Gray carry a black bag from his residence to his car and drive away. Gray’s car was stopped for a traffic violation later that day in a parking lot in the 2400 block of Belair Road in Baltimore. A K-9 unit was nearby to scan the car and the dog alerted to the driver’s door. Law enforcement searched the car and found a black bag (different bag from the first observation) in the trunk containing: a .9mm semi-automatic handgun, loaded with 12 .9mm hollow-point bullets; and two large plastic bags containing 1,090 gel caps of what was determined to be more than 40 grams of a mixture of fentanyl, 4-ANPP, and tramadol. A search of Gray recovered $1,640 in cash.
Gray admitted that he possessed the fentanyl mixture with the intent to distribute it and that the cash constituted drug proceeds. Further, Gray was on parole at the time for a 1991 felony conviction for murder in the second degree, for which he was sentenced to 30 years in prison and was in custody until 2013. Gray knew that as a result of that conviction, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.
Gray and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Gray will be sentenced to no more than eight years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher has scheduled sentencing for February 10, 2022 at 10:00 a.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. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. 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.
This case is also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the DEA and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Joan C. Mathias, who is prosecuting the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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