BALTIMORE, MD—A Baltimore County man will spend more than a decade behind bars for trafficking illegal narcotics.
U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher has sentenced Steven Bernard Norwood, 46, of Lutherville, to 13 years in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and posses with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of a mixture containing cocaine, possessing with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of a substance containing cocaine, and possessing with intent to distribute 400 grams of a mixture containing fentanyl.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; and Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department.
“Drug trafficking on the scale practiced by Norwood not only fuels fatal fentanyl overdoses and opioid addiction, but it also fuels violence in our communities” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, Erek L. Barron. “In partnership with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to actively infiltrate and prosecute drug traffickers that pollute our communities with lethal substances for their financial benefit.”
As the result of a Baltimore County Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigation, it was determined that from March 2019 to July 2020, Norwood acted as a large-scale cocaine and marijuana trafficker within the Baltimore area. Norwood conspired with others to have large quantities of cocaine transported from California to Maryland, where Norwood would further distribute the cocaine.
During the investigation, law enforcement identified an Owings Mills apartment which Norwood used to receive, store, and package drugs. Investigators also learned that Norwood’s co-conspirators frequently used hotels in the Owings Mills area to carry out drug transactions.
On November 24, 2019, a co-conspirator flew from San Francisco to Baltimore. Upon arrival, the co-conspirator traveled with Norwood to the Owings Mills apartment where investigators saw the men drop off several suitcases. Ultimately, the co-conspirator delivered several kilograms of cocaine to Norwood.
On March 21, 2020, a second co-conspirator was in the Baltimore area after traveling from San Francisco. Later that evening, a third co-conspirator booked a room at a hotel that was used by the second co-conspirator. After the hotel room was secured, the second co-conspirator, Norwood, and the third co-conspirator were seen entering the Owings Mills apartment. At that time, the second co-conspirator was carrying several pieces of luggage. Norwood obtained several kilograms of cocaine during this meeting.
As stated in his plea agreement, on July 13, 2020, the second co-conspirator traveled from San Francisco to Maryland and later traveled with Norwood to the Owings Mills apartment. Shortly after their arrival, law enforcement executed a search and seizure warrant at the Owings Mills apartment and a Baltimore storage unit maintained by Norwood.
As a result of the executed search and seizure warrant at the Owings Mills apartment, law enforcement recovered approximately 14 kilograms of cocaine, nearly a kilogram of fentanyl, $369,000 in cash, a 9mm pistol, a money counter, and a boarding pass in the second co-conspirator’s name. The search and seizure executed at Norwood’s storage unit resulted in the discovery of approximately $1,759, 618 in cash, two .45 caliber pistols, and documents in Norwood’s name. Norwood admits that the $2,128,618 in cash seized from him were proceeds of his drug trafficking activities.