Maryland man admits to role in drug trafficking and firearms conspiracy

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Marcus Purnell, of Oxon Hill, Maryland, has admitted to a drug charge, United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced.

Purnell, also known as “Mo,” 34, pleaded guilty today to one count of “Unlawful Use of Communication Facility.” Purnell admitted to using a phone to help distribute Eutylone, also known as “Boot,” in November 2020 in Berkeley County.

Purnell faces up to four years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The FBI; U.S. Marshals Service; Homeland Security Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives; the West Virginia Air National Guard; the Eastern Panhandle Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative; the West Virginia State Police; the Harpers Ferry Police Department; and the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C. investigated. The EPDTF consists of the West Virginia State Police, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Ranson Police Department, the Charles Town Police Department, and the Martinsburg Police Department.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.