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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Baltimore Felon Sentenced to More Than Eight Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Possession of a Firearm in a School Zone and for a Drug Conspiracy

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander today sentenced Gregory Santos, age 49, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 102 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release for illegal possession of a firearm in a school zone and for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and fentanyl.  

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to his guilty plea, on September 17, 2019, Santos was driving in the area of 5th Street and East Patapsco Avenue.  Baltimore Police officers saw Santos roll through a stop sign.  When Santos saw the officers, he slammed on his brakes, ending up in the middle of the intersection.  Santos then sped through a school zone, failed to stop at a second stop sign, and almost collided with another vehicle as he drove onto the 300 block of Pontiac Avenue, a posted school zone near the Maree Garnett Farring Elementary School.  Officers attempted to perform a traffic stop, but Santos did not stop.  Santos eventually threw a firearm out of his window in the 3600 block of 5th Street.  Officers recovered  a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, which had disassembled after hitting the ground, and 11 9mm cartridges of ammunition.  Investigators were able to reassemble the handgun and fire it.  Santos admitted he possessed the loaded firearm while he was driving in the school zone.

Santos was arrested on a state warrant for illegal possession of a firearm on October 20, 2019.  While Santos was incarcerated, he instructed his girlfriend to get narcotics that were in their home and sell them.  A search warrant was executed at the residence on November 22, 2019, and law enforcement recovered more than 1,000 grams of powder cocaine and approximately 771.28 grams of fentanyl, as well as items used to mix and package narcotics for sale.  Santos admitted that he was conspiring with others to distribute narcotics.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This case is also 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 commended the FBI and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Keelan Diana and Assistant U.S. Attorney Clinton J. Fuchs, who prosecuted the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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Originally published at https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/baltimore/news/baltimore-felon-sentenced-to-more-than-eight-years-in-federal-prison-for-illegal-possession-of-a-firearm-in-a-school-zone-and-for-a-drug-conspiracy

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