White Marsh man, 30, sentenced for conspiring to distribute drugs

February 26, 2005|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A White Marsh man was sentenced to almost 22 years in federal prison yesterday for conspiring to distribute more than 50 kilograms of cocaine, the U.S. attorney's office announced.

Robert James Wallace, 30, pleaded guilty Sept. 30 to organizing the smuggling of large quantities of cocaine from New York City into Maryland from May 2002 to August 2003, according to federal prosecutors. Wallace then oversaw the distribution of the drugs to others who resold it to dealers in the Baltimore area. Wallace was arrested Aug. 4, 2003, after police spotted him in the White Marsh Mall parking lot, meeting with people driving a minivan with New York license plates. Law enforcement officers found $10,000 and cocaine residue inside an electronically activated secret compartment, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Wallace's attorney asked U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg yesterday to go below the mandatory federal sentencing guidelines, exercising the discretion granted under the recent Supreme Court decision United States v. Booker.

But Legg sentenced Wallace within the guidelines to 21 years and 8 months in prison, followed by five years' supervised release.

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