Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Brian Lockett, age 48, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 12 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for the federal charges of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of a fentanyl analogue, 40 grams or more of fentanyl, and 100 grams of more of heroin, and to possession of a stolen firearm. Fentanyl analogues are chemical compounds designed to have effects similar to fentanyl and can be just as deadly. Lockett was charged in federal court as part of a 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 sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Marilyn Mosby.
“Just 2 milligrams of fentanyl—which is 50 to100 times stronger than morphine—can kill you,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “State and federal law enforcement and prosecutors in Baltimore City are working together to arrest and prosecute those who peddle deadly fentanyl on our streets and bring gun violence to our neighborhoods. Armed drug dealers who sell fentanyl, like Mr. Lockett, face federal time, where there are no suspended sentences and no parole—ever. We will continue to get guns off of our streets and reduce the supply of fentanyl and related substances that are causing so many tragic overdoses.”
According to his guilty plea, on May 24, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Lockett’s residence in the 1500 block of East Preston Street. Some of the agents knocked on the front door to announce their entry to execute the warrant. As they did so, Lockett and another individual were caught going out the rear door of the home in an attempt to get away.
From Lockett’s basement bedroom, law enforcement recovered approximately 1,644 gelcaps, which laboratory analysis found contained acetylfentanyl, fentanyl, or heroin, as well as smaller quantities of small ziplocks containing suspected cocaine. From under the mattress, agents recovered a 9mm handgun and a magazine for that weapon, loaded with 15 9mm cartridges. Also in the basement were bottles labeled as quinine and several bags of white and brown powdered substances, believed to be drugs and drug cutting agents. One of the bags was found to contain approximately 182.52 grams of a mixture of acetylfentanyl, fentanyl, and heroin. Agents also recovered cash, a cellular phone, and other supplies used in the packaging for drugs for street-level sale. The gun recovered from Lockett’s bedroom was found to be stolen.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the DEA and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey M. Hann, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney, who prosecuted the case.
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