OCT 31 (BALTIMORE) - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Curtis Bird, 37, of Baltimore, today to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Brisolari of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; and Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts.
According to Bird’s plea agreement, in May 2012 the DEA began investigating information received that co-defendant Gregory Fitzgerald had previously arranged for cocaine to be smuggled across the country in “traps” inside vehicles, and that the cocaine was removed from the cars at co-defendant Tommy Heard’s home in Baltimore.
Through intercepted calls, the DEA learned that a car was being driven from California to Baltimore containing drugs. On May 14, DEA observed the car back into the driveway of Heard’s house. DEA overheard phone calls between Bird and Fitzgerald in which the two agreed to meet at the car. The two also discussed potential problems with the car which may attract law enforcement’s attention, including California tags and tinted windows. Later that afternoon, law enforcement observed Bird and Fitzgerald arrive at the location of the car and begin inspecting the car. Once Fitzgerald opened the car’s driver side door and started the car, the DEA intervened and arrested both Bird and Fitzgerald.
A search warrant was executed on the car and approximately 13 kilograms of cocaine were seized from inside a concealed compartment.
Heard, 34, and Fitzgerald, 46, both of Baltimore, have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. Fitzgerald was sentenced to 126 months in prison on October 17, 2012, and Heard is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the DEA, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney James T. Wallner, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.