133 POUNDS OF POT: I-70 bust intercepted load of marijuana headed to Baltimore; Costa Rican driver landed in Indiana jail; Baltimore drug dealer Gregory Jones got off easy with just eight years in federal prison; Paroled killer Julian Gray given a plea deal of just 8 years for dealing fentanyl by federal prosecutor

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Traffic Stop Leads to Discovery of 133 Pounds of Marijuana 

133-marijuana-pounds-of-pot-headed-for-Maryland-on-I-70-in-Indiana-State-Police

Morgan County – The Indiana State Police report that on Saturday, December 11, 2021, at approximately 4:20 p.m., an Indiana State Trooper observed a GMC Yukon that was following too close to a tractor-trailer on I-70 near the 51-mile marker eastbound.  The driver of the vehicle was identified as Alvaro Lopez-Chacon, age 39, of Costa Rica.  During the course of the traffic stop, the trooper observed criminal indicators and requested a canine. 

Indiana-State-Trooper-Kyle-Hall-with-K-9-Barker

Trooper Kyle Hall and his canine Barker, from the ISP Putnamville Post, arrived.  Barker indicated an alert on the vehicle.  A subsequent search of the vehicle discovered that Lopez-Chacon was transporting 133 pounds of marijuana.  Alvaro Lopez-Chacon was taken into custody and transported to the Morgan County Jail.  The estimated street value of the marijuana is $300,000.  

Arrested and Charges:  Alvaro Lopez-Chacon, 39, Costa Rica

  • Dealing Marijuana, Level 5 Felony
  • Possession of Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor

Photo 1 – Evidence Collected 

Alvaro Lopez-chacon

Morgan County Jail

General Inmate Information

FacilityMorgan County Jail
NameAlvaro Lopez-Chacon
Age39
TotalBailAmount$1205 Cash and $4K Bond
Inmate ID246084

Charges and Bail Information

ChargeDealing Marijuana Or Hashish
ChargePossession Of Marijuana

Baltimore Drug Dealer Gregory Jones Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison in Plea Deal for Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering

Defendant Agrees that the Conspiracy Distributed Over 700 grams of Heroin

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell sentenced Gregory Jones, 44, of Lithonia, Georgia to eight years in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute narcotics and conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY All Crime All The Time

According to his plea agreement, from 2017 to February 2019, Jones conspired with others to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and other narcotics in Maryland.

During an investigation conducted by the FBI and Maryland state investigators, investigators worked with a confidential informant who regularly engaged with the conspiracy. Throughout the investigation, law enforcement monitored and recorded phone calls between the confidential informant and a co-conspirator of Gregory Jones. In these phone calls, the informant and co-conspirator frequently discussed ongoing or future drug deals. Additionally, on at least two occasions, investigators arranged controlled purchases of heroin from the co-conspirator.

In 2018, investigators began a wiretap of Jones’s and the co-conspirator’s cell phones.  During the wiretaps, Jones frequently engaged in phone calls with the co-conspirator and with customers. During the communications, Jones arranged to distribute narcotics to customers or acquired money from customers, often by having the co-conspirator conduct the transactions.

For example, on January 11, 2019, the co-conspirator contacted Jones, and the co-conspirator engaged in a phone call. During the call, the two discussed numbers in a manner that indicated they were talking about quantities of narcotics.

At one point in the conversation, Jones instructed the co-conspirator to “take those two, that 30 and that 11 and mix those together. Like run them through the strainer a couple of times like how you did the joint last time.”

Jones further instructed the co-conspirator to “mix those two together and then you gonna take that to him.” 

Later that day, law enforcement observed the co-conspirator enter a car and began driving. While the co-conspirator was en route to their intended destination, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of the co-conspirator’s vehicle. The vehicle was then scanned by a police canine that alerted a positive response for the presence of narcotics. Upon a search of the vehicle, investigators found 38.96 grams of a heroin/fentanyl mixture.

Jones agrees that the conspiracy involved the distribution of at least 700 grams of heroin.

Further, the federal and state investigation into Jones’ drug trafficking conspiracy revealed that the organization also engaged in a conspiracy to commit money laundering in furtherance of narcotics activity. Jones and other members of the conspiracy would plan and/or conduct financial transactions, including the payment of money to drug suppliers, to promote and carry on the narcotics conspiracy. The organization transmitted narcotics profits through various means, including by sending wire transmissions of money. 

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.               

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron praised the FBI, the Maryland State Police, the Cumberland Police Department, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, the Troy Police Department (New York), and the West Virginia Potomac Highlands Violent Crime and Drug Task Force for their work in the investigation. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael C. Hanlon and Lindsey McCulley, who prosecuted the case.

OFFICIALS LET CONVICTED MURDERER JULIAN GRAY OUT OF PRISON IN 2013; NOW HE’S GOING BACK ON A SWEET PLEA DEAL FOR JUST EIGHT YEARS FOR DEALING FENTANYL AND PACKING A GUN

Baltimore, Maryland – Julian Gray, 49, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty on December 2, 2021, to federal charges of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  

According to Gray’s guilty plea, in 2020 the DEA began surveilling street-level drug activities and making undercover purchases of fentanyl.  During the surveillance, Gray was identified as a potential co-conspirator when he was seen meeting with drug dealers who sold narcotics to the undercover officers.

On September 15, 2020, DEA agents saw Gray carry a black bag from his residence to his car and drive away. Gray’s car was stopped for a traffic violation later that day in a parking lot in the 2400 block of Belair Road in Baltimore.  A K-9 unit was nearby to scan the car and the dog alerted to the driver’s door.  Law enforcement searched the car and found a black bag (different bag from the first observation) in the trunk containing: a .9mm semi-automatic handgun, loaded with 12 .9mm hollow-point bullets; and two large plastic bags containing 1,090 gel caps of what was determined to be more than 40 grams of a mixture of fentanyl, 4-ANPP, and tramadol.  A search of Gray recovered $1,640 in cash.

DRUG DEALER WAS A PAROLED KILLER

Further, Gray was on parole at the time for a 1991 felony conviction for murder in the second degree, for which he was sentenced to 30 years in prison and was in custody until 2013.

Gray admitted that he possessed the fentanyl mixture with the intent to distribute it and that the cash constituted drug proceeds.  Further, Gray was on parole at the time for a 1991 felony conviction for murder in the second degree, for which he was sentenced to 30 years in prison and was in custody until 2013.  Gray knew that as a result of that conviction, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

Gray and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Gray will be sentenced to no more than eight years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher has scheduled sentencing for February 10, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. 

Defendant Name:GRAY, JULIAN
Race: BLACKSex: MALE
DOB: 12/24/1971

Name: JULIAN GRAY
Register Number: 39039-068
Age: 30
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Release Date: 05/06/2023
Location: Not in BOP custody

SID*Last NameFirst NameMiddle NameDate of Birth
1067348GRAYJULIAN12/24/1971
DOC IDHolding Facility
00482770Please click on the facility name to see its details.
Metropolitan Transition Center

Address:  954 Forrest St., Baltimore, MD 21202

Maryland Court of Special Appeals Affirmed Murder Conviction of Julian Gray

Appeal blew up when one of his witnesses evaporated his alibi that he couldn’t have done the dirty deed as he was at the hospital with the birth of his child

(Editor’s Note: The appeal in 1999 was based on the assertion by Gray that his lawyer failed to call witnesses that could testify that it would have been impossible for the witness against him could have observed the actual murder of Randy Hudson)

On April 17, 1991, a jury convicted the appellant of the second-degree murder of Randy Hudson. He was sentenced to thirty years for the murder conviction plus five years consecutive for the felonious use of a handgun. On direct appeal, he challenged the convictions on two grounds. First, he argued that the trial court violated his right to confrontation and cross-examination by erroneously allowing hearsay evidence. Second, he contended that the trial court erred by refusing to allow him to argue about the lack of fingerprint evidence with respect to the spent handgun cartridges. We affirmed the appellant’s convictions in an unreported per curiam opinion, Gray v. State of Maryland, No. 1006, September Term, 1991, 91 Md.App. 841 (filed April 20, 1992).

Gray v. State, 158 Md. App. 635, 637 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2004)

Therefore, although she could not testify to who actually shot the victim, she did provide strong circumstantial evidence that [appellant] committed the murder. She also completely destroyed [appellant’s] alibi defense that he was at a hospital during his child’s birth. The jury simply found [McCray] more credible. Counsel’s visit to the murder site would not have prevented [McCray] from putting [appellant] at the scene of the homicide.

Gray v. State, 158 Md. App. 635, 639-40 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2004)

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