Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams announced today that Andres Fernandez, 40, of Arnold, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and illegal possession of a regulated firearm late yesterday in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. Fernandez was sentenced to 40 years in prison, with all but 25 years of that sentence suspended and the first five years to be served without the possibility of parole.
“A daunting message was sent to those who seek to peddle poison on our streets,” said Anne Arundel County Wes Adams. “Don’t sell drugs in Anne Arundel County.”
Fernandez is considered to be the leader of an Anne Arundel County-based, million-dollar drug operation that was disbanded through a historic, multi-agency effort in October 2015. Twelve other people have also been charged in connection with the case.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of this case,” said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare. “Prosecutors in this case worked day and night, weekends, and holidays right alongside of our detectives to ensure the successful prosecution of Mr. Fernandez. The shared case work represents a sea change in how we go after predators and dealers of poison.”
“I believe that this positive outcome is a testament to the strong inter-agency partnerships that worked seamlessly to build this historic case from the very beginning,” said Adams. “Sentences like these should greatly impact criminals who are considering whether to set up shop here. Anne Arundel County is taking back our community.”
After a historic, coordinated, eight (8) month-long effort by six (6) law enforcement agencies led by the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division (Narcotics and Special Investigations Section) and the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office, to target drug dealers and cripple their distribution centers, a 3-count indictment was unsealed in October in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court charging eight (8) individuals with conspiracy to distribute heroin, among other drug-related offenses. Nearly $1 million in assets were seized, to include 12 firearms and 3 vehicles.
State’s Attorney’s Office prosecutors coordinated a multi-agency investigation which included the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division (Narcotics and Special Investigations Section), members of the Anne Arundel County Heroin Task Force (Anne Arundel County Police Department, Annapolis Police and Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office), as well as members of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Anne Arundel County Executive’s Office funded the effort. This large-scale law enforcement team identified the drug trafficking members who were responsible for illicit drug importation, packaging and distribution inside Anne Arundel County, executed the search warrants, and discovered the necessary evidence that eventually broke apart this ring.
All defendants from this drug operation are moving through the justice system at various stages in the process.
Judge Michael J. Wachs presided over the case. ASAs Nicolle Norris and Jason Steinhardt prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.