10/18/2019 | Press release | Archived content
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Kenneth Grossman, age 29, of Baltimore Maryland, to 168 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
'Kenneth Grossman was a leader of a drug organization that brought the deadly combination of guns and drugs to the streets of Baltimore,' said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. 'Grossman will now serve 14 years in a federal prison far from home, where there is no parole-ever. Please put down the gun. You'll save a life, maybe even your own.'
According to his plea agreement, from January 2017 until July 2018, Kenneth Grossman conspired to distribute fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine as a leader and member of the Young Finesse Kings (YFK), a drug shop that operated primarily in the German Park area of Baltimore City. During the course of the investigation, investigators from the FBI and the Baltimore Police Department obtained authority to intercept wire and electronic communications of members of the YFK drug shop and conducted physical surveillance of the YFK drug shop documenting many instances of Kenneth Grossman directing and coordinating drug shop operations.
On April 11, 2018, investigators intercepted phone calls which led them to believe that Grossman and several co-defendants were going to commit a retaliatory act of violence, after someone shot at co-defendant Knowledge Sharpe's car. Sharpe contacted Grossman and other co-conspirators to get them to assist with the retaliation. Investigators immediately responded to the area where the conspirators had discussed meeting: Mount Royal Terrace and North Avenue, in the Central District of Baltimore City. While in the vicinity, investigators observed a gold Nissan van occupied by up to six individuals parked near Druid Park Lake, but the van left the area before investigators were able to stop it. A short time later investigators learned that a gun was discharged in the area of 1700 North Carey Street. Investigators checked the location information of Sharpe's cellular telephone and compared it to time that the discharging occurred. At the time of the discharging, Sharpe's cellular telephone was at a location in the same block of Carey Street.
Shortly afterwards, investigators located the gold van in the parking lot of the Security Mall in Baltimore. Kenneth Grossman and co-defendants, Knowledge Sharpe, Dana Dunnock, Anthony Whitaker, Quran Smoot, and another individual were subsequently seen exiting the mall and entering the van. Investigators surrounded the vehicle and stopped the van before it could exit the parking spot. Immediately upon opening the front passenger door, investigators observed a firearm on the front passenger floorboard. All occupants were detained and a search of the van showed six firearms within easy reach of all occupants. Specifically, a CM11 assault pistol with a loaded magazine was located on the front passenger-side floorboard (where Sharpe was sitting), a .32-caliber revolver loaded with 6 rounds and a .380-caliber revolver with a loaded magazine were in the rear third row cup holder and on the rear third row seat, respectively (where Grossman and the other individual were sitting), a 9mm pistol with a loaded magazine in the front center console near the driver (where Smoot was sitting), from Whitaker's waistband area an officer recovered a .40-caliber handgun loaded with 5 rounds, and from Dunnock's front waistband area an officer recovered a .45-caliber handgun loaded with 10 rounds and attached to a second magazine containing 9 more rounds. There was also a bag containing loose ammunition and a black ski mask located in the van. Black ski masks were also recovered from Grossman, Sharpe, and Whitaker. Kenneth Grossman and his co-conspirators possessed firearms in furtherance of their drug trafficking activities. Grossman had previous felony convictions and was therefore prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.
All nine defendants have pleaded guilty to their roles in the drug conspiracy or for possessing a firearm in the van with Grossman, including; Dana Dunnock, age 21; Knowledge Sharpe, age 19; Quran Smoot, age 21; and Anthony Whitaker, age 24, all of Baltimore. Six defendants, in addition to Kenneth Grossman, have been sentenced including Sharpe who was sentenced to 12½ years in federal prison; Whitaker who was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison; and Dunnock who was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice's violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Goo and Brandon K. Moore, who are prosecuting the case.
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