Money Launderer and Wholesale Supplier of Narcotics to East Baltimore Monument Street Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison and Ordered to Forfeit $472,000
Anton Williams Laundered Drug Proceeds Through Baltimore Properties, Including Rosie’s Bar; Co-Defendant Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Federal Prison
Baltimore, Md., – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Anton Williams, age 43, of Baltimore, to 10 years in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine in the Monument Street area of East Baltimore; possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; and for money laundering. Judge Hollander also ordered Williams to forfeit $472,000, a .38-caliber revolver, and eight rounds of .38-caliber ammunition.
Judge Hollander also sentenced co-defendant Wardell Roundheart, age 44, of Baltimore, to 68 months in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and for possession with intent to distribute a fentanyl and cocaine mixture.
The sentences were announced by Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Washington Division; Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the DEA Baltimore District Office; Acting Special Agent in Charge Darrell J. Waldon of the IRS-CI Washington, D.C. Field Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
According to Williams’ and Roundheart’s guilty pleas, in July of 2018, DEA Strike Force Group 1—part of the Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force—began an investigation of the Monument Street corridor in East Baltimore, which is known to support a high volume of street-level drug distribution and acts of violence associated with the drug trafficking. During the investigation, law enforcement identified multiple street-level drug trafficking “shops,” with the two most prominent located in the 400 block of North Montford Avenue at Jefferson Street (“the Montford DTO”) and in the 2400 block of East Monument Street at Port Street (the “Out the Mud,” or “OTM DTO”). Investigators conducted controlled purchases of narcotics from drug distributors in the shops, including Roundheart, utilizing confidential informants and undercover Baltimore Police Department (“BPD”) officers. These undercover purchases also identified the drugs shops’ sources of supply of narcotics, including Anton Williams.
As detailed in their plea agreements, investigators intercepted calls between Williams and co-conspirators and Roundheart and other members of the conspiracy discussing the distribution of controlled substances including cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl. On February 19, 2019, Roundheart distributed a tramadol/fentanyl mixture to an undercover detective who believed he was purchasing heroin. On February 22, 2019, Roundheart directed another undercover detective to an individual to purchase of four clear top vials of cocaine and 10 gelatin capsules of what the detective thought was heroin, but was a tramadol/fentanyl mixture.
The total proceeds obtained by Williams from supplying controlled substances to co-conspirators was at least $472,000. Investigators discovered that Williams had acquired multiple properties, including Rosie’s Bar, located at 482 S. Bentalou Street, Baltimore, where Williams met with co-conspirators. Williams used limited liability companies (“LLC”), associates, or family members to purchase the properties to conceal the ownership of the properties, as well as to conceal the source of funds used to purchase the properties. Investigators intercepted calls between Williams and a lender discussing the payment for Rosie’s Bar. Based on the intercepted conversations, investigators believe Williams purchased the bar with drug trafficking proceeds. Additionally, Williams and his co-conspirators used this location to meet with drug customers for the purposes of collecting money and providing controlled substances to them. Investigators also identified seven other properties in Baltimore that Williams either owned or leased.
Investigators recovered a total of $363,233 from various bank accounts associated with Williams' drug proceeds. Since Williams is not known to have a job, all of the properties are believed to be purchased with drug proceeds.
On May 22, 2019, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Williams’ residence and recovered: a firearm; a money counter; 10 cell phones, including two phones intercepted during court-ordered wiretaps; and $206,444 in cash, believed to be drug proceeds. Search warrants were also executed on two vehicles used by Williams. Investigators recovered multiple bags of suspected cocaine and heroin, as well as 76 grams of fentanyl.
Throughout the course of their involvement, it was reasonably foreseeable to Williams and Roundheart, and within the scope of the conspiracy that Williams or other members of the conspiracy would distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and that Roundheart or other members of the conspiracy would distribute between 500 grams and two kilograms of cocaine, as well as quantities of crack cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl during the course of and in furtherance of the conspiracy.
Of the 25 defendants indicted in this case, 24—including Williams and Roundheart—have pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial. Over the course of the Monument Street investigation, law enforcement seized kilo quantities of drugs, loaded guns, and more than $535,781 in drug proceeds.
This prosecution was brought as a part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Co-located Baltimore Strike Forces Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location.
SAC Forget commended the DEA, IRS-CI, the Baltimore Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney's Office of Maryland for their work in the investigation.