Baltimore, Maryland (Oct. 10, 2014)– Rahdel Sharbaan, age 31, of Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty on September 24, 2014, to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin. Co-defendant Gary Barham, age 52, of Easton, Maryland, pleaded guilty on September 15, 2014, to the same charge.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gary Tuggle of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Frederick County Sheriff Charles A. “Chuck” Jenkins; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore; and Hagerstown Police Chief Mark Holtzman.
According to their plea agreements, since early 2014, Rahdel Sharbaan and Gary Barham conspired with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin. During the course of the conspiracy, Sharbaan was working with co-conspirators to obtain bulk quantities of heroin from sources in New York and transport that heroin to Maryland for further distribution. Specifically, Sharbaan would meet with sources in New York and obtain the heroin, then he would travel (generally via bus) to Baltimore, Maryland, where he would provide the heroin to a co-conspirator. Barham obtained bulk quantities of heroin from that same co-conspirator, which he then re-distributed in and around the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Sharbaan would take the proceeds of prior heroin transactions from the co-conspirator in order to pay the source in New York.
During the investigation, law enforcement obtained a wiretap on phone lines used by a member of the conspiracy. Through those wiretaps, they intercepted numerous calls between Sharbaan and the co-conspirator discussing travel to and from Baltimore and the heroin business. Investigators also saw Sharbaan and the co-conspirator meeting at the Baltimore Travel Plaza to deliver new supplies of heroin.
Barham was also overheard by law enforcement on numerous calls discussing heroin sales with the co-conspirator. For example, on April 2, 2014, law enforcement overheard Barham and the co-conspirator discuss meeting at a restaurant in Bowie, Maryland, so that Barham could obtain a supply of heroin. Law enforcement then saw Barham and the co-conspirator meet at the restaurant to conduct the drug transaction.
Over the course of the conspiracy, it was reasonably foreseeable to Sharbaan and Barham that the conspiracy distributed at least 100 grams of heroin. Sharbaan faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison for the conspiracy. Barham and the Government have agreed that if the Court accepts his plea agreement, Barham will be sentenced to 132 months in prison. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for Barham on November 17, 2014 at 3:00 p.m., and for Sharbaan on January 8, 2015, at 3:00 p.m.
Co-defendant Jeffrey Michael Anderson, age 35, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, is scheduled to go to trial on October 27, 2014. Charges are pending against co-defendants Reginald Jones, age 26, of Bronx, New York; Shawn Christopher Malley, age 25, of Crofton, Maryland; Amanda Jo Palmer, age 32, of Hagerstown, Maryland; and William Ulysses Robinson, age 38, of Grasonville, Maryland.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised HSI-Baltimore, DEA, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Hagerstown Police Department for their work in the investigation and recognized the Maryland Natural Resources Police, St. Michael’s Police Department, Easton Police Department, Ocean City Police Department and Talbot County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth S. Clark, who is prosecuting the case.