Three Baltimore men about to stand trial for their roles in a drug conspiracy pleaded guilty prior to jury selection, the United States' Attorney's Office in Baltimore said Thursday.
Deandre Smith, 28, Karron Wheeler, 35, and Brandon Kellum, 25, worked in the same drug organization that sold heroin and fentanyl in Baltimore, stashing the drugs in Baltimore County.
According to Smith's plea, he managed a large drug trafficking organization that used distributors like Wheeler and Kellum from July of 2015 to April 28 of 2016. Smith's organization operated around Pedestal Gardens apartments in the 300 block of McMechan Street. Along with Jamal Carter and Dymir Rhodes, Smith maintained a stash house in Catonsville where they stored and prepped their drugs. Smith and a co-conspirator killed two individuals on Aug. 10, 2016 and Oct. 7, 2015, according to Smith's plea, to further their drug activity. An April 2016 raid of the stash house resulted in Carter and Smith's arrests as well as the seizure of large quantities of drugs.
According to Wheeler's plea, between March 2015 and Aug. 26, 2016, he managed several locations where the organization sold drugs, including on Pennsylvania Avenue and Laurens Streets in West Baltimore. He admitted to employing about five people and keeping a gun in close proximity in case it was needed.
According to Kellum's plea, between November 2015 and Feb. 18, 2016, he also participated in a drug conspiracy. On Feb. 18, 2016, officers conducting surveillance on a Catonsville shopping center saw Kellum and Carter engage in conversation and exchange drugs. A later traffic stop of Kellum yielded the discovery of those drugs.
After their pleas, Smith faces 25 years in prison; Wheeler faces between 10 to 13 years in prison following his sentencing on Sept. 12; and Kellum faces five to seven years in prison following his sentencing on Sept. 10. Smith's sentencing has not yet been scheduled.