A man who traveled from Mexico to Baltimore with the intent of purchasing and redistributing 10 kilograms of cocaine filed a guilty plea in federal court Monday, the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland said.
Gary Gaines-Hidalgo, 26, of Baja California, Mexico, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 2, 2019.
According to the plea, Gaines was identified as a member of an organization linked to the drug trade during an investigation involving Baltimore County Police. In December of 2017, Gaines arranged a purchase of 10 kilograms of cocaine from a confidential source who was working with law enforcement at a price of $26,500 per kilogram. Gaines was then going to sell the cocaine at $28,000 per kilo.
Gaines entered the United States from Mexico on Jan. 26, then then headed to Baltimore, where he would meet the people he was buying cocaine from at a local hotel. He also told the people who he was going to sell to that they should meet him at the same hotel.
Three cars arrived at the hotel that day, with Gaines in one and the confidential law enforcement source in the other. Gaines got out of the car he was riding in and went to retrieve the cocaine from the trunk of the source's car when police swooped in, rounding up all parties.
Several guns were found in the car Gaines was riding in, including a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Nearly $130,000 in cash was also found between a black bag in the car and bundled money Gaines had on him.
A 36-year-old Baltimore man, Tony Lee Bauer, already pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy and possession charges. He will be sentenced on Jan. 2.