Memphis, TN – Devin Baker, 31, an armed career criminal, has pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the guilty plea today.
According to information presented in Court, on June 4, 2019, Memphis Police Department officers responded to an overdose death call on Shelby Oaks Drive. Upon their arrival, law enforcement determined that the Narcan used on K.P., was unsuccessful, and she died of an overdose of several drugs, including heroin and methamphetamine.
From June 5-11, 2019, detectives conducted surveillance and witnessed Baker selling drugs from a room at a local motel and conducted multiple hand to hand transactions. On June 11, 2019, Baker was stopped and searched, and had methamphetamine and marijuana in his pocket. After Baker was detained, detectives executed a search warrant on the motel room and recovered several guns, including a stolen gun, 22 pills, digital scales, and another bag of methamphetamine. Personal property belonging to Baker was also recovered, indicating he was living in the motel room.
After being taken into custody, Baker waived his Miranda rights and provided a written statement to detectives. Baker admitted to lodging at the local motel, confirming that the guns were in the room, that he sold drugs out of the room, and admitted to the hand to hand drug transactions.
As a result of his prior felony convictions, including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun, Baker is prohibited by federal law from possession of firearms or ammunition.
The defendant pled guilty on August 26, 2020, before U.S. District Court Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. A sentencing hearing is scheduled on December 2, 2020, where Baker faces a sentence of up to 20 years for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and a mandatory minimum consecutive sentence of 5 years and up to a possibility of a life sentence for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. There is no parole in the federal system.
U.S. Attorney Dunavant said, “This defendant’s prior conviction history demonstrates his disrespect for the law and his imminent danger to the public. Baker presented a triple threat of serious bodily injury and death: a prior violent convicted felon in possession of multiple firearms while distributing highly addictive and deadly substances on the streets. Career offender+guns+drugs=a federal conviction that will remove him from our community and save lives.”
The Memphis Police Department’s Heroin Overdose Response Team (HORT) and Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force investigated this case. The Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Justice Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel D. Winnig is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. SAUSA Winnig is currently assigned from the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office for the purpose of prosecuting violent crimes and firearms offenses in federal court.