Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams announced that Louis Valentine, 33, of New York, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with an Intent to Distribute Heroin and Illegal Possession of a Regulated Firearm late yesterday in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court before Judge J. Michael Wachs. Valentine was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
“We will continue to send the message to drug dealers to forget about ‘setting up shop’ in Anne Arundel County,” said Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams. “I appreciate Judge Wachs for sending a clear message through a strong sentence that drug dealers will be held accountable.”
Valentine ran a distribution center for Andres Fernandez out of a Glen Burnie hotel room. Individuals would come to the hotel to purchase heroin from Valentine. The money from the sales was routed back to Fernandez. The investigation also identified a stash location in Glen Burnie where the kilogram quantities of drugs would be broken down and packaged for street level sale. The heroin from the stash location was used to resupply the hotel distribution center.
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. All defendants from this drug operation are moving through the justice system at various stages in the process.
As a result of this historic, coordinated, eight (8) month-long effort by six (6) law enforcement agencies, nearly $1 million in assets were seized, to include 13 firearms and 3 vehicles. Additionally, 3 kilos of heroin, 394 gel caps of heroin, 1.5 kilos cocaine and an additional 218.35 grams of heroin – including packaging – were taken off of Anne Arundel County streets.
Judge J. Michael Wachs presided over the case. ASAs Nicolle Norris and Jason Steinhardt prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.
This case was 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.
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.