Catonsville man gets 25-year term for role in crack cocaine conspiracy

Drug ring operated out of Randallstown in 2002-2003


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April 13, 2005|By Matthew Dolan | Matthew Dolan,SUN STAFF

A Catonsville man, who helped run a Baltimore County-based drug ring that imported large amounts of cocaine, converted it to crack and laundered the profits through a record company, was sentenced in federal court yesterday to 25 years in prison.

Gregory Lamont Wilson, 30, was convicted by a U.S. District Court jury Feb. 17, 2004, of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine and possession of a firearm.

Wilson's attorney, Thomas Saunders, said yesterday that his client is considering an appeal.

U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis considered evidence that Wilson tracked down and tried to influence the testimony of two potential witnesses.

The two, both women, had been listed as renters of apartments Wilson used for his drug operations, according to prosecutors. Wilson hired a drug addict to find one of the renters and put her on a cell phone to Wilson, prosecutors said.

According to court papers, from September 2002 until July 2003, Wilson and co-defendants Edwin Lloyd Murray, 22, and Derrick Lenwood Powell, 21, both of Cockeysville, operated a crack distribution network based in Randallstown.

The drug operation sold crack in Baltimore and its suburbs.

Murray and Powell, who also had been convicted of conspiracy in the case, face sentences of up to life in prison when they are sentenced next month.

Wilson, according to prosecutors, was a key link between obtaining raw cocaine and turning it into crack.

Another supplier for the ring, Andre Clark, 36, of Catonsville, pleaded guilty in November 2003 to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

He was arrested by state police on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway on May 23, 2003, with a kilogram of cocaine in his vehicle.

The investigation relied heavily on the use of telephone wiretaps, which recorded thousands of conversations.

The conspirators on tape used coded language such as "izzy wizzy" to refer to drugs.

More than 400 of the conversations were presented as evidence during the trial, prosecutors said.

According to trial evidence, the group used homes in Baltimore and Howard and Baltimore counties as drug stash houses.

The conspiracy involved the retail distribution of more than 25 kilograms of crack cocaine, prosecutors said.

Wilson, Murray and Powell used the proceeds from their illegal drug activity to start a now-defunct record company called Big Business Records LLC, a firm listed in Woodlawn.

The case was jointly investigated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as the Maryland State Police, Baltimore and Baltimore County police departments and the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

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