News Release, US Department of Justice, District of Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Robert Luke Simpson, age 25, of Gambrills, Maryland, today to 57 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. As little as 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose. Simpson admitted that he sold at least 400 grams of fentanyl, or enough to kill 400,000 people.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Postal Inspector in Charge Peter R. Rendina of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division; and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare.
U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur stated, “Drug traffickers are on notice that dealing in fentanyl increases their odds of federal prosecution. We’re also targeting drug dealers who buy fentanyl on the dark web and re-sell this poison to our citizens. Working together with our local, state, and federal partners, we are determined to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths in Maryland.”
“Whenever someone uses the U.S. Mail to send anything that is illegal, counterfeit, or improper, Postal Inspectors will find them and bring them to justice,” said Peter Rendina, Inspector In Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Washington Division. “We are committed to keeping the mail safe for our customers and our employees.”
According to his plea agreement, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Simpson’s residence on October 11, 2017, and found 6,200 fentanyl pills weighing approximately 369 grams, in a hidden compartment in a wall-mounted shelf and on a desk. Officers also found $8,578 in cash, as well as cell phones, computers, iPads, and Bitcoin cryptocurrency mining equipment. Simpson admitted that he purchased 10,000 fentanyl pills from a dark web marketplace for approximately $10,000 worth of Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Simpson sold the fentanyl pills for $5 to $10 each to customers in Maryland. Simpson admitted that he sold between 400 grams and 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl.
Judge Russell also ordered that Simpson must forfeit money, property, and/or assets derived from, or used to facilitate the commission of Simpson’s illegal activities, including the items seized during the search of his residence.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended HSI Baltimore, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Anne Arundel County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren M. Elfner and Assistant U.S. Attorney Burden Walker, who prosecuted the case.