Maryland Feds: Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty to His Role in The Drug Distribution Conspiracy
Tirrel Saunders, a/k/a “Pretty”, age 35, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Saunders was a member of the Gregory Butler Drug Trafficking Organization (“Butler DTO”) which distributed heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
According to his guilty plea, from October 2018 through April 2019, FBI intercepted phone communications of the Butler DTO that operated in and around the Baltimore area, using phones to arrange heroin, crack cocaine, and fentanyl sales to drug users and redistributors from Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
The Butler DTO sold thousands of dollars in narcotics on a daily basis. For example, intercepted phone communications revealed that the Butler DTO frequently sold over 100 grams of heroin mixed with fentanyl on a daily basis. Customers of the Butler DTO believed they were purchasing heroin, but the Butler DTO adulterated all heroin it sold with fentanyl. Street-level distributors in the Butler DTO worked in shifts and shared phones they used to communicate with Butler DTO leadership and customers.
As stated in the plea agreement, investigative efforts identified Saunders as a Butler DTO supervisor and manager. In this capacity, Saunders managed daily supplies of narcotics and the collection of drug proceeds from distributors. FBI investigators intercepted Saunders regularly arranging to resupply co-conspirators with heroin and crack cocaine which they sold to drug customers. Saunders also communicated with Butler DTO leadership and acted as a liaison between Butler DTO leadership and street-level distributors.
Saunders agreed that over the course of the conspiracy, he distributed over one kilogram of heroin to street-level distributors.