HAVE LAWBOOK, WILL GUIDE LAW BREAKERS: That’s what the feds say Kenneth Ravenell was doing in racketeering with drugs and drug dealers in Baltimore

HAVE LAWBOOK, WILL GUIDE LAW BREAKERS: That’s what the feds say Kenneth Ravenell was doing in racketeering with drugs and drug dealers in Baltimore

In the never-ending quest to find MR. BIG, this story
 is presented about the Maryland drug trade

Baltimore Defense Attorney Facing Federal Indictment for Racketeering, Drug, And Money Laundering Conspiracies

BALTIMORE, MD.  – A federal grand jury has indicted Kenneth Wendell Ravenell, 60, of Monkton, Maryland, on federal charges of racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and narcotics conspiracy.  The indictment was returned late on September 18, 2019.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and other law enforcement officials.

According to the indictment, Ravenell violated the legitimate and lawful purpose of the law firm where he worked in order to enrich himself and Individual 1 by receiving payments from a drug trafficker client and his associates in exchange for instructing the client and his associates how to evade law enforcement and continue their drug trafficking, laundering drug proceeds, and obstructing justice to protect the client and his associates.

Further, the indictment alleges that Ravenell knowingly protected and assisted co-conspirators in their drug trafficking by coaching co-conspirators about law enforcement techniques so that they could evade these techniques when they trafficked in narcotics.

  • Ravenell allegedly used the law firm’s bank accounts to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars and protect the drug trafficking organization.
  • Ravenell allegedly used the law firm’s bank accounts to receive drug payments and make payments to attorneys retained to represent other members of the conspiracy, concealing and misrepresenting the source of the funds to those attorneys. 
  • Ravenell allegedly created and caused the creation of false records, including a client file in the name of a person that the law firm did not represent, in order to conceal the source of the funds used to pay other lawyers for their representations of members of the conspiracy. 
  • According to the indictment, Ravenell misrepresented to employees of the law firm the purpose of payments he directed them to make for or on behalf of members of the conspiracy.  Ravenell also allegedly received substantial cash payments derived from drug sales as compensation for laundering money and for protection he provided to his co-conspirators.

In addition, the indictment alleges that Ravenell and a co-conspirator obtained information about arrested co-conspirators, including whether or not they were cooperating and the status of their cases, and provided such information to other members of the conspiracy so that they could protect ongoing drug operations.

 The indictment alleges that Ravenell obtained access to incarcerated co-conspirators, whom he did not represent, so that Ravenell could attempt to improperly influence their testimony, attempt to cause them to execute false affidavits and witness statements which he knew to be false, and attempt to cause witnesses to withhold testimony from official proceedings against his client.

The indictment alleges that Ravenell participated in a conspiracy to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana.

If convicted, Ravenell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for the racketeering conspiracy; a maximum of 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy; and a maximum of life in prison for the narcotics conspiracy.  The case will be handled by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady, who has been assigned to preside over this case in the District of Maryland.

“No One Works Harder for a Client than Ken Ravenell”; from Super Lawyer

“We thought she was dead the way she hit the ground,” says William H. “Billy” Murphy Jr., senior partner at Murphy PA in Baltimore.

“Yeah, she went down like a sack of potatoes,” agrees Kenneth Ravenell, also of Murphy PA.

“Ordinarily,” Murphy says, “you cross-examine the victim’s mother by saying, ‘Oh, we’re so sorry for your loss. We have no questions.’ The prosecution likes to put them on because they evoke emotional sympathy.”

In this case, though, the mother was testifying about business dealings between her son and Ravenell’s client, who was accused of murdering the son. Ravenell used cross-examination to attack her credibility.

For three hours.

“He got everything he needed to get out of her,” says Murphy. “The jury did not like her, the jury did not believe her, and that, in part, explains why, when she got off of the witness stand, she just collapsed in a heap right before she got to the rail that separates the well of the courtroom from the spectator’s section. …. It was a masterful example of a cross-examination that had a high level of risk but had a tremendous reward. It was a killer cross-examination.”

Although a collapsing witness is atypical for Ravenell, foiling prosecutorial strategy is not.

“His numerical track record is phenomenal,” says Larry Gibson, law professor at the University of Maryland. “He’s tried a couple of hundred serious criminal cases, jury trials, and the majority of his cases have led to acquittals, many of them in federal court.”

Ravenell’s acquittal rate in federal court actually lies somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 percent, dwarfing the average in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which, in 2010, was 8 percent, according to Murphy. How does he do it?

“No one works harder on behalf of his clients than he does,” says Gregg Bernstein

“No one works harder on behalf of his clients than he does,” says Gregg Bernstein, the state’s attorney for Baltimore city. “He outworks his opponents in every case that he has.”

“You can’t get to his level of skill on talent alone,” says Murphy. “It’s like saying Michael Jordan came out of the womb shooting jump shots. No, this is the product of hard work and incredible dedication.”    MORE


About Kenneth Ravenell – from his website

Kenneth W. Ravenell is a powerhouse trial attorney with over 25 years of experience. Mr. Ravenell has represented clients in a wide range of criminal defense cases, white-collar cases, and civil cases ranging from personal injury to mass tort with amazing success. He has defended numerous clients on charges ranging from securities fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud, healthcare fraud, money laundering, murder, and narcotics conspiracies.

Mr. Ravenell has also litigated and successfully resolved a child death case in Memphis, a health care fraud investigation in Washington, DC, several premises liability cases, and numerous others throughout the country. He continues to expand his representation of individuals in complex civil matters, including a civil bank fraud lawsuit. What he enjoys the most is his time in the courtroom at trial, making a connection and developing a relationship with the jurors.

Ask his colleagues to describe Mr. Ravenell and you’ll hear the same words used over and over again: tenacious and prepared. Consistent with this, Mr. Ravenell says, “I tell people all the time: you can’t work with me unless you’re willing to outwork the opponent. I can only live with a negative result – when they rarely occur – if I know we gave it our all. Even then, I want to know what more we could have done and then fix it. For me, it is all about preparation and winning for my clients.”

Noted for his dogged determination, incredible work ethic, and legal brilliance, he has earned an enviable record in the courtroom, winning more than 200 jury trials throughout the country. Mr. Ravenell’s acquittal rate of close to 85% dwarfs the national average.

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