11 Wholesale Narcotics Traffickers Indicted for Supplying Baltimore Drug Dealers
Investigation Resulted in the Seizure of Enough Fentanyl to Kill Over 200,000 People
Baltimore, MD – A 16-month investigation by the Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force into drug dealing in Baltimore has led to eleven alleged wholesale drug suppliers being charged in a federal indictment for conspiracy, drug distribution, and firearms charges. The indictment was returned under seal on July 29, 2021, and was unsealed upon the arrests of the defendants. Charged in the indictment are:
Rigby Dukes, a/k/a “Panama,” age 54, of Baltimore;
Kevin Fuller, age 55, of Baltimore;
Jimmye Howard, age 32, of Baltimore;
Thomas Jones, a/k/a “Pooda,” age 52, of Baltimore;
Eugene Link, age 40, of Baltimore;
Khyle Paige, age 30, of Baltimore;
Fred Primus, age 47, of Washington, D.C.;
Keith Smith, a/k/a “Fat Keith,” age 39, of Gwynn Oak, Maryland;
Phillip Washington, age 53, of Windsor Mill, Maryland;
Ronald White, a/k/a “Ron,” age 53, of Towson, Maryland;
Eric Wilson, a/k/a “E” and “Remy,” age 50, of Owings Mills, Maryland.
The indictment was announced by Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Washington Division; Orville Greene, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) of the DEA Baltimore Office; Jonathan Lenzner, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Tom Carr, Executive Director of the Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Administration.
“Today’s charges serve as a great example of the effective partnerships we’ve forged and, our commitment to protecting the residents of this great city. These 11 individuals represent the top tier of drug traffickers here in the city of Baltimore,” said DEA ASAC Orville Greene. “They were responsible for supplying a vast number of drug shops across the city and fueling addiction and violence across the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Taking these prolific criminals off of our streets is a step toward making Baltimore a safer place.”
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner stated, “The Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force will continue to target large-scale drug distributors and areas where violence is fueled by armed drug dealers. We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to prosecute the suppliers and street-level drug dealers to get them off of our streets and to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods. This indictment focuses on those importing bulk quantities of dangerous drugs into Baltimore, and is an important step in our efforts to make our communities safer.”
“This indictment comes as the result of a continued regional commitment to reduce violence and protect our communities,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt. “The significant amounts of weapons and drugs seized during this multi-jurisdictional operation will help keep our neighborhoods safe and prevent future violence.”
“The Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force program exemplifies multi-agency collaboration and our shared commitment to creating a safer, stronger Baltimore,” said Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “As drug organizations become more sophisticated in the way they operate, we will continue to elevate our data-driven tactics, superior collaboration and consistent partnership among local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to work together to fight the violence on our streets.”
Over the course of this investigation, law enforcement executed 55 search warrants on people, locations, and vehicles, seized approximately $722,334 in cash; more than four kilograms of fentanyl—enough to kill 200,000 people; more than 10 kilograms of cocaine; more than a kilogram of a heroin/fentanyl mixture; 914 grams of crack cocaine; a total of 258 grams of a crack or cocaine/fentanyl mixture; as well as six firearms, three magazines, ammunition, and a silencer; and more than 62 cell phones used to facilitate the business. Law enforcement also seized drug packaging material, digital scales, cutting agents, and money counters.
According to the 11-count indictment and information provided to the Court, the defendants distributed heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, and other drugs to customers, including to each other. The indictment alleges that members of the conspiracy sold bulk quantities of narcotics to other drug traffickers who, in turn, redistributed the narcotics in and around Baltimore. The conspirators allegedly cut the heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine with other substances to maximize their profits, and used residences in and around Baltimore to process, repackage, and prepare heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, and other drugs for distribution. Further, the indictment alleges that the members of the conspiracy possessed firearms in furtherance of their drug trafficking activities, including this conspiracy.
The defendants face a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for the conspiracy; Dukes face a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years in prison for the count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and Smith, White, and Wilson face a mandatory maximum of 10 years in federal prison for each count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances; Link and Paige face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for each count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances; Paige faces a maximum of five years in federal prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and Jones faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. All of the defendants have had an initial appearance. White was ordered to be detained, pending a detention hearing on August 11, 2021, and the remaining defendants were released with conditions, under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. This prosecution was brought as a part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Co-located Strike Forces Initiative. The specific mission of the Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force is to reduce violent, drug-related, and gang crime in the Baltimore area and the surrounding region.
SAC Forget commended the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the Baltimore Police Department, the Baltimore County Police Department, Washington-Baltimore HIDTA, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland for their work in the investigation and thanked the Baltimore City and Baltimore County State’s Attorneys’ Offices for their assistance.