In addition to heroin, prosecutors say he was selling fentanyl.
Frederick, Md (KM) A Gaithersburg man who sold large amounts of heroin in Frederick County will be spending a long time in jail. In Circuit Court on Monday, Robert Lee Smith, 35, received 40 years in prison, with all but 25 years suspended. He will need to serve ten years of that sentence before he’s eligible for parole.
“It’s a substantial sentence for Mr. Smith,”: says State’s Attorney Charlie Smith (no relation). “But we have to come down hard on these fentanyl and heroin dealers, and he happens to be one of them.”
Charlie Smith says the Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation into Mr. Robert Lee Smith last year, which included some “buys” by undercover deputies. “One of the ‘buys’ made in July actually came back as fentanyl. That’s what we believe is killing people on the streets these days,” he says.
Robert Lee Smith pleaded guilty in December to distribution of heroin, and distribution of fentanyl.
“He did have numerous priors. He was on probation for possession with intent to distribute heroin in Montgomery County. So he also faces a parole re-take warrant there as well. He consented to the forfeiture of the money,” says Smith.
“This is a guy whose purely a business man. He’s not a user. He’s not one of these guys selling a little bit of dope support his habit. This guy was making money. He was making big money. He was selling ounces upon ounces of this stuff. One of them came back as pure fentanyl. Obviously, this is the type of person who needs to go to jail for a long time,” says Smith.
Also in Circuit Court on Monday, a Frederick man pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife. Divan Antonio Wright, 21, entered guilty pleas to assault, reckless endangerment and solicitation to intimidate a witness prior to a trial.
State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says Wright’s wife brought the couple’s two children under the age of two. She dropped the kids off at Wright’s mother’s home. An argument erupted and it got physical. “He wound up striking her in the head, strangling her. He drug her outside of his mom’s apartment, actually kicked her and punched her,” says Smith. “Came back in and grabbed a butcher’s knife, went back outside. At this point in time, neighbors hear some screaming ‘stop, don’t kill me.’ And he begins to strike her with a knife, cuts her hand.”
Police were called to the scene of the incident in the 100 block of Willowdale Drive at around 9:05 PM, July 31st. Wright was taken into custody at around 10:45 PM as he walked out of the Planet Fitness Gym on West Patrick Street.
The victim was taken to University of Maryland Shock Trauma where she was treated for her injuries.
Smith also says Wright, while in jail, made calls to his mother to get her to persuade his wife to change her story before trial.
Sentencing for Wright is scheduled for March 1st. “Not a very bright guy; obviously, a very violent guy. And facing a substantial sentence, facing 35 years. Stay tuned on March 1st for what happens to him,” says Smith.
By Kevin McManus