BALTIMORE — A federal grand jury has indicted Kenneth Wendell Ravenell on federal charges of racketeering conspiracy to commit money laundering and narcotics conspiracy.
Ravenell was the attorney for Keon Gray who was convicted in the murder of Taylor Hayes in August.
According to the indictment, Ravenell violated the legitimate and lawful purpose of the law firm where he worked in order to enrich himself and another individual by receiving payments from a drug trafficker client and his associates in exchange for instructing the client and his associates how to evade law enforcement and continue their drug trafficking, laundering drug proceeds and obstructing justice to protect the client and his associates.
The indictment also alleges that Ravenell knowingly protected and assisted co-conspirators in their drug trafficking by coaching them about law enforcement techniques so that they could evade those techniques.
He allegedly used the law firm’s bank accounts to "launder hundreds of thousands of dollars and protect the drug trafficking organization."
Ravenell allegedly used the law firm’s bank accounts to receive drug payments and make payments to attorneys retained to represent other members of the conspiracy, concealing and misrepresenting the source of the funds to those attorneys.
Ravenell allegedly created and caused the creation of false records, including a client file in the name of a person that the law firm did not represent, in order to conceal the source of the funds used to pay other lawyers for their representations of members of the conspiracy.
According to the indictment, Ravenell "misrepresented to employees of the law firm the purpose of payments he directed them to make for or on behalf of members of the conspiracy. Ravenell also allegedly received substantial cash payments derived from drug sales as compensation for laundering money and for protection he provided to his co-conspirators."
The indictment continues, alleging that Ravenell and a co-conspirator obtained information about arrested co-conspirators, including whether or not they were cooperating and the status of their cases, and provided such information to other members of the conspiracy so that they could protect ongoing drug operations.
The indictment also alleges that Ravenell obtained access to incarcerated co-conspirators, whom he did not represent, so that Ravenell could attempt to improperly influence their testimony, attempt to cause them to execute false affidavits and witness statements which he knew to be false, and attempt to cause witnesses to withhold testimony from official proceedings against his client.
Finally, the indictment alleges that Ravenell participated in a conspiracy to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana.
If convicted, Ravenell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the racketeering conspiracy; a maximum of 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy; and a maximum of life in prison for the narcotics conspiracy.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.