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Eight charged in Baltimore heroin, fentanyl distribution conspiracy

Posted at 3:44 PM, May 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-13 15:44:08-04

BALTIMORE — Eight people have been indicted and charged with conspiring to run a heroin and fentanyl distribution ring in Baltimore, the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland said in a statement.

The group sold drugs in the city since at least February of 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. They are being charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin. The investigation that led to their charges and arrests was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program in which local law enforcement agencies collaborate to reduce violent crimes in communities.

Of the eight charged, seven were from Baltimore: 21-year-old Raynard Minter, 26-year-old Raheem Benjamin, 28-year-old Joshua Johnson, 28-year-old Ellison Mccrea, 32-year-old Morranda Phimpisane, 36-year-old April Wilkes, and 39-year-old Tyrone Milton Gholston. Also arrested and charged was 38-year-old Daryl Hart, of Edgewood.

Benjamin was also charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person and with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Gholston was also charged with maintaining a drug-involved premises. Hart, Minter, and Phimpisane were charged with possession with intent to distribute a mixture of fentanyl and heroin. Johnson is charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Each individual charged faces a potential mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life for the drug conspiracy, as well as varying other sentences for additional charges.