Nine indicted on charges of distributing crack

February 03, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

A federal grand jury in Baltimore has indicted nine people on charges of distributing crack cocaine in Hagerstown's West End.

The Monday indictments stem from a drug turf killing in July 1997, Lynn A. Battaglia, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, said in a press release.

Eric Williams, also known as "Supreme," was shot and killed during an assault on three other people, according to the indictment.

Williams and another man were attempting to maintain control over the West End drug trade, according to allegations contained in the indictment, the release said.


The investigation was conducted by agents assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration office in Hagerstown, with the assistance of the State and local law enforcement officers, including members of the Washington County Narcotics Task Force and the Hagerstown Police Department, Criminal Investigation Division.

"It took a considerable amount of cooperation" between law enforcement agencies, said Hagerstown City Police Chief Dale J. Jones.

"It will hopefully remove a section of drug dealers trafficking in our area," he said.

During the course of the investigation officers made several purchases and seizures of cocaine from various coconspirators, the release says.

Those named in the indictment, according to the release, include:

* Odessa Cash, 25, also known as "Psych," 25.

* Isaiah Whaley, 27, also known as "I."

* Khalil Hassan, 20, also known as "Lil."

* Bertrand Levon Curtis, 23, also known as "X."

* Charles Jamal Whaley, 21, also known as "Boom."

* Joseph Benjamin, 21, also known as "Six."

* Mark Williams, 36, also known as "Ice."

* Michael Williams, 22, also known as "Mason" and "Dreds."

* Anthony Bonner, 25, also known as "Tone."

Bonner is from Baltimore and the rest of those indicted are from New York.

Only Whaley and Hassan remain at large, the release said.

In count two of the indictment Cash and Mark Williams also are charged with kidnapping, the press release said.

Cash and Curtis were arraigned on Jan. 29. The rest of the defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 5.

Conviction on the charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Manuelian and Angela R. White.

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