Brandywine Man Convicted in Drug Conspiracy

Shipped Large Quantities of Cocaine from California to Maryland

GREENBELT, Maryland - William L. Handy, Jr., age 43, of Redondo Beach, California, and Christopher A. Hall, age 44, Brandywine, Maryland, were convicted today of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine on April 11, 2001, and the use of a telephone in furtherance of narcotics offenses, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein stated, “These convictions will result in lengthy sentences that prevent the defendants from bringing illegal drugs into our neighborhoods.”

Special Agent in Charge William D. Chase, of the Baltimore office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, praised the United States Attorney's Office for pursuing this case stating, "Because the USAO remained persistent, Mr. Hall and Mr. Handy will no longer be able to subject the citizens of Maryland to their drug dealing."

Testimony presented during the one week trial before U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. showed that from at least November, 2000 through April 2001, the defendants conspired to distribute over 5 kilograms of cocaine. As part of the conspiracy, they utilized cell phones to arrange for the sale of the drugs. On April 11, 2001, the two arranged for the delivery of approximately 33 kilograms of cocaine, or over $600,000 worth of cocaine, from California to Maryland where the drugs were seized by law enforcement. The drugs were transported using a minivan equipped with a hidden compartment. According to the trial evidence, the minivan had made several trips in the beginning of 2001 with multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine that Hall and Handy arranged.

The defendants face a maximum penalty of life in prison, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute charges, and 4 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the uses of the telephone in furtherance of a narcotics offense. Judge Williams has scheduled sentencing for April 13, 2007. Judge Williams' revoked bond for both defendants and placed them in federal custody pending sentencing.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Wilkinson and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Del Wright, who prosecuted the case.

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