August 25, 2006
Contact: SA Susan Wolf
Phone Number: (202) 305-8500
Leaders of Baltimore Drug Conspiracy Plead Guilty
BALTIMORE, Maryland - William “Billy” Wells, age 33, of Parkville, Maryland pled guilty today to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five hundred grams or more of cocaine, announced Carl J. Kotowski, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District office and United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
On August 21, 2006 Wells’ co-defendant, brother, Leonardo Wells, age 30, of Baltimore pled guilty to the same charge. According to the statement of facts provided to the court as part of their plea agreements, from about December 2003 until February 2006, Leonardo Wells obtained kilogram quantities of cocaine from various sources, and distributed these quantities to wholesale customers. On September 7, 2005, law enforcement followed Leonardo Wells when he went to meet one of his wholesale customers from Hagerstown, MD. Leonardo became aware of law enforcement surveillance and conducted counter-surveillance maneuvers, eventually exiting his car near Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore City. A short time later, Leonardo informed the customer, “I had to throw it.”
In November 2005, two Hagerstown customers were arrested after leaving Billy Well’s home by law enforcement who recovered 420 grams of cocaine. Leonardo Wells was the contact to their sources of supply.
"It is a shame that a star basketball player from Baltimore used his abilities to throw kilos of cocaine rather than a basketball on the court" stated Carl J. Kotowski, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office. "It is also disturbing that while WELLS was involved with his brother, Leonardo, selling their poison on the streets of Baltimore, Billy was also working as a counselor for troubled youths in the city". " Their organization utilized the "WE R ONE" clothing store located in the 2400 block of Monument street for drug meetings" according to Kotowski. "With each guilty plea and conviction in this case comes another victory for the people of Baltimore" stated Kotowski. So far nine individuals have been arrested in this case which was initiated in the Spring of 2005 by the DEA Baltimore District Office and the Baltimore City Police Department.
William and Leonardo Wells face a maximum sentence of 40 years imprisonment, with a five-year mandatory minimum sentence; a $2 million fine; and five years supervised release. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for both William “Billy” Wells and Leonardo Wells on November 15, 2006.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Baltimore City Police Department. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney James Walner, who is prosecuting the case.