Armed Montgomery County Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances
Hammond Illegally Possessed a 9mm Firearm Loaded with 15 Rounds of Ammunition to Facilitate his Drug Trafficking Business; Also Sold Illegal Firearms While on Supervised Release
Greenbelt, Maryland – Ronnie Hammond, age 21, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division, and Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD).
According to his guilty plea, during the course of their investigation of Hammond, MCPD officers recovered several cellular phones that revealed Hammond’s drug trafficking activity. Hammond routinely coordinated with dealers and suppliers to distribute marijuana. On at least five instances, law enforcement intercepted Hammond’s coded conversations with several co-conspirators regarding drug transactions.
For example, on August 30, 2019, Hammond told Co-conspirator 1 that his stash house was “dry” and Co-Conspirator 1 warned Hammond that law enforcement was in the area in “plain clothes”. Hammond stated that his source of supply just contacted him. Co-Conspirator 1 then asked for Hammond to sell him an eighth of marijuana and he just sold out. Following the previous conversation, one of Hammond’s suppliers sent Hammond a picture of high-quality marijuana and quoted a price of $600.
As stated in his plea agreement, on November 19, 2019, MCPD officers conducted undercover surveillance in a parking lot. During the surveillance, officers observed a male and female on a picnic table smoking marijuana. Officer then observed the two individuals get into a sedan that parked in an adjacent parking lot.
Officers approached the vehicle and knocked on the driver’s side window. Hammond was seated in the front passenger seat. A MCPD officer asked Hammond if he possessed any marijuana, and he produced a small baggie of marijuana from a satchel. As a result of a search of Hammond, officers recovered a black semi-automatic 9mm pistol loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition. Hammond agrees the firearm was possessed to facilitate his drug distribution activities. Officers also recovered additional marijuana, a digital scale, and clear plastic baggies inside of Hammonds satchel. Officers recovered approximately 17 grams of marijuana and $541 in Hammond’s drug proceeds.
Hammond was subsequently arrested and released on several conditions, including that Hammond refrain from participating in any criminal activity. However, while on release, Hammond illegally sold firearms to at least one individual, including two 9mm handguns.
Hammond and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Hammond will be sentenced to between 24 months and 36 months in federal prison. U.S. District Judge George L. Hazel has scheduled sentencing for December 2, 2021 at 10 a.m.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the ATF and the Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly O. Hayes and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica C. Harvey, who are prosecuting the case.
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Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of Maryland