Two Plead Guilty in Multi-State Heroin Trafficking Operation Based in Baltimore, Maryland
MARTINSBURG, WV—Jared Michael Belanger, 36, of Martinsburg, and Brandon Kidwell, 24, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, were convicted of heroin trafficking in federal court this week, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
Belanger and Kidwell each participated in a heroin trafficking scheme based in Baltimore, Maryland. As part of the operation, heroin was repeatedly transported across state lines to various locations in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania for redistribution and sale. The operation was interrupted by a 163-count federal indictment encompassing 41 defendants.
The defendants each pled guilty this week to “Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering.” They each face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anna Krasinski and Paul Camilletti prosecuted the cases on behalf of the government. The Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation led the inquiry.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.