Hanover Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Distribution of Fentanyl, Cocaine, and Other Drugs
Law Enforcement Also Seized 15 Firearms from Conspirators, including Six from Pitts, and more than $1.5 Million Cash in Drug Proceeds
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher today sentenced Dwight Antonio Pitts, age 47, of Hanover, Maryland, to 15 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for his participation in a drug distribution conspiracy involving large amounts of fentanyl, cocaine, and other drugs, shipped through the U.S. Mail from California to Maryland. Pitts admitted that during his participation in the conspiracy, it was foreseeable that he and the other conspirators distributed approximately 8.5 kilograms of fentanyl; approximately 150 kilograms of cocaine; and approximately 50 kilograms of other drugs.
The sentence was announced by Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Washington Division; United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Superintendent Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III of the Maryland State Police (MSP); Postal Inspector in Charge Greg L. Torbenson of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) - Washington Division; and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Baltimore District Office.
According to his guilty plea, since November 2019, the MSP, the DEA, and the USPIS were investigating a drug trafficking conspiracy involving Pitts, Michael Fisher (a.k.a. Mark Wilson), and others, that was distributing fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan areas. Investigators used court-authorized wiretaps to intercept calls and other communications between Pitts, Fisher, and other conspirators in which they discussed drug distribution with each other and with other individuals. Investigators also conducted surveillance of drug transactions conducted by both Pitts and Fisher.
During the conspiracy, Pitts and Fisher traveled to California multiple times to obtain kilograms of cocaine and fentanyl. Once in possession of the narcotics, Pitts or Fisher used the U.S. Mail to ship the narcotics back to Maryland for distribution.
Between May and August 2020, U.S. postal inspectors interdicted several parcels from the mail, including two parcels bound for an address in Hyattsville, Maryland that was leased by Pitts. On August 13, 2020, a search warrant was authorized for the two parcels. Law enforcement recovered more than two kilograms of cocaine from one parcel and more than two kilograms of fentanyl from the other parcel. Investigators obtained video surveillance from the El Segundo Branch Post Office, from which the parcels had been mailed. The video showed Pitts at the post office at the time the parcels were mailed.
On August 13, 2020, investigators obtained consent to search Co-Conspirator 2’s residence in Los Angeles after watching Fisher transfer a box containing approximately $190,020 in cash to Co-Conspirator 2’s car. Law enforcement recovered from the residence two duffle bags containing approximately 30 kilograms of cocaine, along with two additional duffle bags that contained more than $193,980 in narcotics proceeds, not including the approximately $190,020 Fisher provided to Co-Conspirator 2 earlier that day.
On August 17, 2020, law enforcement executed search warrants at the six locations in Maryland associated with Pitts and Fisher and at a residence in Las Vegas, Nevada. Investigators seized 15 firearms—6 firearms from locations associated with Pitts and 9 firearms from locations associated with Fisher—along with kilogram quantities of cocaine, fentanyl, and marijuana. In total, during the investigation law enforcement seized approximately 35 kilograms of cocaine, approximately 6.5 kilograms of fentanyl, and approximately 50 kilograms of marijuana. In addition, investigators seized approximately $1,501,308, which Pitts admitted was proceeds from the sale of narcotics.
As detailed in the plea agreement, additional evidence, including evidence seized from searches on cellular phones of conspirators and CCTV footage, showed that between July 2019 and August 2020, the conspiracy was responsible for mailing approximately 121 parcels from Los Angeles area Post Offices to locations in Maryland.
Co-defendant Michael Fisher, age 47, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the same charges and is awaiting sentencing.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using an intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
SAC Forget commended the MSP, USPIS, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for Maryland for their work in the investigation and recognized the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles and Las Vegas DEA, and the USPIS Phoenix Division-Las Vegas, Nevada for their assistance.