Cocaine dealer tried to intimidate witness, sentenced to 22 years

Prosecutors say he tried to convince a witness to recant

January 31, 2011|By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun

A 39-year-old man was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Monday for selling cocaine in West Baltimore after agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration intercepted drugs and a package containing more than $250,000 in cash.

A jury convicted Gregory Alfred Whyte, also known as "Manny," after a six-day trial in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Prosecutors said he was given a harsher sentence because he tried to intimidate a witness into recanting his testimony.

The case began when federal agents in Los Angeles intercepted a refrigerator that was being sent to an address on North Fulton Avenue in Baltimore. Prosecutors said 16 kilograms of cocaine had been hidden inside the refrigerator.

The agents allowed the shipment to proceed to Baltimore, where they linked it to Whyte. During their investigation, prosecutors said they intercepted another package, this one containing $259,570. Witnesses testified at the trial that Whyte was sending that money to California.

Authorities arrested Whyte in May 2010 and said he had a piece of paper on him in the name of the person who was to receive the refrigerator. Prosecutors also said that after one court hearing, Whyte and the witness were put in adjacent cells at the state-run Supermax facility, where prosecutors said Whyte accused him of being a "snitch" and told him to write out a new statement.

Peter.hermann@baltsun.com

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