One of the First Defendants Charged Under a New Federal-State Initiative to Combat the Fentanyl Crisis in Maryland
News Release, United States Attorney’s Office-District of Maryland
Faces Nine Years In Federal Prison
Baltimore, Maryland – Gari Terrell Miller, age 38, of Clinton, Maryland, pleaded guilty on May 9, 2019 to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, and to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Miller was one of the first defendants charged as part of the new federal-state initiative announced in December 2018 to combat the fentanyl crisis in Maryland.
Under this new initiative, titled the “Synthetic Opioid Surge,” or “SOS” for short, every arrest involving distribution of fentanyl made by law enforcement in Baltimore is reviewed jointly by the State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore City, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to determine whether the case will be handled in the state or federal system. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will prosecute more cases involving fentanyl as a result of this new program. The use of federal resources and statutes, which carry significant terms of imprisonment, is necessary to prosecute those individuals who pose the greatest threat to public safety in distributing lethal doses of fentanyl.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; and Colonel Woodrow Jones, Chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.
“State and federal law enforcement and prosecutors in Baltimore City are teaming up to arrest and prosecute those who peddle the deadly poison of fentanyl on our streets and in our neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “As a result of our combined efforts, Gari Miller now faces federal prison time, where there are no suspended sentences and no parole, ever. We must do everything we can to reduce overdose deaths from this drug and from all opioids.”
According to his plea agreement, on April 12, 2018, a Maryland Transportation Authority Police officer conducted a traffic stop near Conway Street in Baltimore, after observing Miller drifting between lanes and turning onto Conway Street without signaling. During the stop, the officer smelled marijuana. After the officer conducted a sobriety test, he searched Miller and recovered approximately $740 in cash and a white powdery substance that was 49 grams of fentanyl—enough to kill 24,500 people. Law enforcement also recovered from Miller’s vehicle $3,300 in cash bound with rubber bands, and a drug ledger with weights, names and dollar amounts listed. The ledger reflects, and Miller admits, that he sold 832 grams of heroin.
Miller further admitted that he conspired with others to distribute fentanyl and heroin in Maryland. Miller had others assisting him with distributing narcotics and collecting the drug proceeds.
Miller and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Miller will be sentenced to nine years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for July 16, 2019 at 9:15 a.m.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the DEA and Maryland Transportation Authority Police for their work in the investigation and thanked Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and her office for their assistance. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Samika N. Boyd, who is prosecuting the case.