Two Maryland Men Convicted After a Two-Week Trial for Federal Charges Related to an Armed Heroin and Fentanyl Distribution Conspiracy Operating in Washington County
Conspiracy Distributed Enough Fentanyl to Kill at Least 600,000 People and Used Firearms in Furtherance of the Drug Conspiracy
Baltimore – A federal jury convicted Jarvis Antonio Coleman-Fuller, age 35, of Hagerstown, Maryland and Eric Tyrell Johnson, a/k/a E, age 38, of Owings Mills, Maryland, late on November 17, 2022, on federal charges related to a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, specifically fentanyl and heroin in Washington County, Maryland.
The guilty verdict was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Division; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore; Chief Paul “Joey” Kifer of the Hagerstown Police Department; and Washington County States’ Attorney Charles P. Strong.
According to the evidence presented at their two-week trial, beginning in about April 2019 and continuing to about November 2019, the defendants and their co-conspirators conspired to distribute heroin and fentanyl in the Washington County area. During the investigation, law enforcement seized narcotics, including at least 1.3 kilograms of fentanyl, five firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and more than $12,534 in cash. Witnesses testified that Johnson and Coleman-Fuller distributed fentanyl and illegally possessed firearms. Johnson and Coleman-Fuller both had previous felony convictions and were prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition. The trial evidence also proved that Coleman-Fuller possessed a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking crimes.
Eight co-defendants have previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.
Coleman-Fuller and Johnson each face a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years in federal prison and up to 40 years in prison for the drug charges and up to 10 years in federal prison and up to life in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Coleman-Fuller also faces a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison, consecutive to any other sentence, and up to life in federal prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties, after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for Coleman-Fuller and Johnson for March 10, 2023, at 9:30 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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
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, HSI, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington County Narcotics Task Force, and the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution Mr. Barron also thanked the Baltimore County Police Department and the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for their assistance in the case. Mr. Barron commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christina A. Hoffman, Joan C. Mathias, and Adeyemi Adenrele, who are prosecuting this case.
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