Berlin Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of over 300 Grams of Crack Cocaine with Intent to Distribute
Marcus Pitts, age 49, of Berlin, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; and the members of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team: Chief Ross C. Buzzuro of the Ocean City Police Department; Worcester County Sheriff Matthew Crisafulli; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Chief Arthur R. Hancock of the Pocomoke City Police Department; and Chief Leo Ehrisman of the Ocean Pines Police Department.
According to Pitts’s guilty plea, in September 2018, members of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team (WCCET) were investigating Pitts for suspected drug distribution. While conducting surveillance at Pitts’s residence investigators saw a suspected drug user go into the residence, come out a short time later, and then drive away. Investigators conducted a traffic stop of the individual and recovered a glass smoking pipe and a small amount of cocaine, which the person acknowledged he had just purchased from Pitts.
On September 14, 2018, members of the WCCET executed a search warrant at Pitts’s residence, where they recovered approximately 396 grams of crack cocaine, baking soda, a glass Pyrex dish, plastic baggies, an empty digital scale box, three cell phones, and $1,472 in U.S. currency. An additional cell phone was recovered from Pitts outside the residence. A subsequent search warrant of the cell phones revealed numerous text messages indicating that Pitts was involved in trafficking crack cocaine.
Pitts was released from state custody on bail on September 24, 2018. He was arrested on January 2, 2019 on a federal arrest warrant. At the time of his arrest, Pitts was in possession of a bag of crack cocaine, which he tried to throw away as police approached. Investigators also recovered a cell phone from Pitts’s vehicle. The cell phone was searched and was found to contain numerous text messages indicating that Pitts continued to distribute crack cocaine while he was released from state custody on bail.
Pitts and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Pitts will be sentenced to seven years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III has scheduled sentencing for June 17, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended HSI and the WCCET, comprised of the Ocean City Police Department, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police, the Pocomoke City Police Department and the Ocean Pines Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office for its assistance. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christina A. Hoffman and Darryl L. Tarver, who are prosecuting the case.