U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced James Maurice McCants, age 42, of Baltimore, today to 92 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Co-defendants Eddie Eusebio Mateo, age 31, of Pikesville, Maryland, cocaine and Robert Bookhamer, age 37, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Mateo entered his plea today and Bookhamer entered his plea on November 17, 2015.
The sentence and guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare.
According to McCants’ and Mateo’s plea agreements, from at least May 2013 through July 23, 2014, they were members of a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Bookhamer was a member of the conspiracy from March to June 2014. Other members of the conspiracy included Alex Raymond Valerio, Moises Rosario, Joseph Melendez, Keith Joseph Herring, Dartanon Antione Gaines, and others.
According to their plea agreements McCants, Mateo and Bookhamer obtained cocaine from Valerio, Rosario and others. McCants also obtained heroin from Valerio. McCants and Bookhamer sold the drugs obtained from Valerio to their own customers, while Mateo distributed the drugs on behalf of Valerio to several of the conspiracy’s customers on behalf of Valerio. The conspirators were intercepted in telephone calls and text messages discussing their drug trafficking activities. Law enforcement also observed the defendants meeting with Valerio to conduct drug transactions.
On May 20, 2014, investigators conducted a traffic stop of McCants’ vehicle after he had met with Valerio at Valerio’s residence. Law enforcement recovered approximately 42.2 grams of crack cocaine from McCants’ front waistband area, which he admitted purchasing from Valerio.
On July 23, 2014, investigators executed a search warrant at Bookhamer’s home in Baltimore and recovered: $7,108 in cash; plastic bags with approximately 22 grams of cocaine; drug paraphernalia and packaging materials; a .45 caliber handgun with two magazines; a rifle with a large capacity magazine; a box of .45 caliber ammunition; and multiple cell phones.
On that same day investigators also executed a search warrant at Mateo and Rosario’s home in Pikesville, as well as a home in Glen Burnie, frequented by Mateo and utilized by Valerio to store and distribute drugs to other members of the conspiracy. At the Pikesville home investigators located: a six ton shop press, a dye press, five bundles of heroin (totaling approximately 11.7 grams), scales with cocaine reside, marijuana seeds, and twenty marijuana plants. In the Glen Burnie home law enforcement recovered: two hydraulic presses; spoons with cocaine residue; drug paraphernalia including cutting agent and packaging material; a hand press; approximately 30.9 grams of cocaine; and $24,000 in cash.
McCants admitted that during his participation in the conspiracy, he conspired to distribute between 280 and 840 grams of crack cocaine. Mateo and Bookhamer admitted that they were responsible for the distribution of between 500 grams and two kilograms of cocaine.
Co-defendants Alex Raymond Valerio, age 35, of Glen Burnie; Moises Rosario, age 33, of Pikesville, Maryland; Joseph Melendez, age 28, of Brooklyn, New York; Keith Joseph Herring, age 27, of White Marsh, Maryland; and Dartanon Antione Gaines, age 36, of Owings Mills, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the drug conspiracy. Rosario was sentenced to two years in prison and the others are awaiting sentencing. Three other defendants are pending trial.
Bookhamer and Mateo each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Judge Motz has scheduled sentencing for Mateo on February 2, 2016 and for Bookhamer on March 11, 2016.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the DEA and Anne Arundel County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth S. Clark, who is prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.