October 17, 2012
Contact: SA Susan Wolf
Phone Number: (202) 305-8500
Cocaine Dealer Exiled To Over 10 Years In Prison
Arranged for cocaine to be smuggled from California to Maryland in concealed vehicle “traps”
BALTIMORE - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Gregory Fitzgerald, 46, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 126 months 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 Fitzgerald’s plea agreement, in May 2012, the Drug Enforcement (DEA) began an investigation of Gregory Fitzgerald, a/k/a “Joe,” after receiving information that Fitzgerald had previously arranged for cocaine to be smuggled across the country in concealed compartments, called “traps” inside vehicles. The DEA was also advised that once the cocaine arrived in Maryland, it was removed from the cars at co-defendant Tommy Heard’s home. During the investigation, the DEA obtained a court order to intercept calls on Fitzgerald’s cellular phone.
Based on conversations between Fitzgerald and co-defendant Curtis Bird, DEA learned that a vehicle containing drugs was being driven from California to Baltimore. On May 14, 2012, law enforcement saw a blue Honda Civic with California registration backed into the driveway at Heard’s residence on Bucknell Road in Baltimore. During intercepted conversations, Fitzgerald and Bird agreed to meet at "Cuzzo's” (Heard’s) house, and discussed potential problems with the vehicle, which may attract law enforcement’s attention, including the California registration and the darkly tinted windows. Later that day, law enforcement saw Bird and Fitzgerald arrive at the rear of Heard’s house and begin inspecting the car. Heard then came out the back door to join them, returning to the house a short time later. Once Fitzgerald opened the driver’s side door of the Honda and started the car, DEA agents arrested Fitzgerald and Bird. A search warrant executed on the car recovered approximately 13 kilograms of cocaine from a concealed compartment located in the rear passenger area.
Heard, age 34, and Bird, age 37, both of Baltimore have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. Bird is scheduled to be sentenced on October 31, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. 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.