A Severn man, described as a small player in a large fencing and drug ring, pleaded guilty in Annapolis Circuit Court yesterday to solicitation to commit murder.
Michael Lewis Tyler pleaded guilty in exchange for an agreement with prosecutors that he serve no more than two years in jail.
When considering the plea deal, Prosecutor Warren W. Davis III said he took into consideration that Tyler, 22, of the 7900 block of Telegraph Road, has cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
The prosecutor said he also considered that Tyler has no criminal record and looked at the circumstances surrounding the murder-for-hire scheme.
"In this case, it was a one-time conversation" with an undercover police officer, he said, adding that no money exchanged hands.
Tyler, who police described as a drug supplier for another county man, was charged with distribution of cocaine and solicitation to commit murder after he gave an undercover detective a down payment of $250 worth of cocaine to kill a man who lives in the Odenton area.
His sentencing is set for July 6, Davis said. He has been held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center since his arrest last December.
Tyler was charged after a three-month investigation involving 50 county police officers. After Tyler and a dozen others were arrested in the undercover operation, police said they had broken up one of the biggest crack houses in the county.
Also arrested in the operation was Steven Ray Fields, 33, of the 400 block of Patuxent Road in Odenton, who was charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine, solicitation to commit murder, burglary and theft.
Davis said Fields was the principal figure in the drug and fencing ring, which operated out of his home.
Fields allegedly hired an undercover detective to kill his girlfriend's estranged husband, giving the detective a photograph of the intended victim and a down payment in crack cocaine.
Fields was scheduled to stand trial Thursday, but his case was postponed indefinitely.
Sgt. Joseph Bisesi said detectives began investigating the suspected ring that worked out of Field's home last September.
Within a month, undercover officers had bought crack and cocaine, as well as jewelry, credit cards and antique rifles, all of which they believe were stolen.