Drugs, Digital Scale, Firearms, and Cash Were Recovered from His Vehicle
News Release, U.S. Attorney’s Office-District of Maryland
Greenbelt,Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Russell Lee Battle, age 54, of Clinton, Maryland, on June 17, 2019, to 15 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and marijuana.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur stated, “Guns and drugs take far too many lives in our communities. All too often, guns and drugs go hand in hand—and both are killers. Federal, state, and local law enforcement are united in our commitment to get guns, drugs, and violent criminals off our streets and to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods.”
According to Battle’s plea agreement, early in the morning of January 12, 2018, Prince George’s County Police officers stopped the vehicle Battle was driving for not having illuminated tag lights. Battle was the sole occupant of the vehicle and the vehicle was registered to Battle.
While speaking with the officer on the driver’s side of the vehicle, Battle was attempting to locate his vehicle registration when he pulled a digital scale from the center console and placed it on the passenger seat. The officer positioned on the passenger side of the vehicle also observed the digital scale. Battle claimed that he did not know what the scale was and handed it to the officer, who saw that it contained a white powder-like substance and cut marks. When Battle was not able to find his registration, the officers returned to their cruiser and determined that Battle had previous narcotics-related convictions and had falsely claimed that he didn’t know what the digital scale was.
The officer then conducted a search of Battle’s vehicle and recovered two semi-automatic firearms, each loaded with at least 20 rounds of ammunition, as well as an additional extended magazine. Officers also recovered three bags of crack cocaine, totaling approximately 9.8 grams. One of the bags contained 10 small baggies, each with crack cocaine inside. Officers also recovered 21.7 grams of marijuana packaged into nine individual baggies, as well as $637 in cash.
Battle admitted that he intended to distribute the crack cocaine and marijuana found in his vehicle.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur praised the ATF and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly O. Hayes and Erin Pulice, who prosecuted the case.