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Mobtown Beat

"Buzzard" Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges

Associate of Fugitive Drug Trafficker Shawn Green and Indicted Philadelphia Kingpin Maurice Phillips Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Distribution with Street Value of $1.3 Million

By Jeffrey Anderson | Posted 10/9/2008

Anthony Wayne Ballard, aka Buzzard, a 38-year-old man from Baltimore, pleaded guilty on Oct. 8 to major drug-distribution charges and participation in an identity-theft scam that involved a mole inside the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.

In 2006 Ballard was stopped in Prince George's County along with Maurice Phillips, indicted kingpin of the Phillips Cocaine Organization of Philadelphia, and fugitive drug trafficker Shawn Michael Green, best known locally as a business associate of East Baltimore entrepreneur Noel Liverpool Sr., who set up Green's clothing store, Total Male II. During that stop law enforcers seized more than $900,000 cash. Green was indicted in federal court in Baltimore in 2007 on drug-conspiracy and money-laundering charges and fled. He is at large. Phillips is the focus of a federal drug-conspiracy case in Philadelphia that involves allegations of drug trafficking, money laundering through the purchase of real estate, and murder for hire. Ballard has pleaded guilty in that case as well.

Liverpool, a former Morgan State basketball and football star who has owned real estate and a number of defunct clothing stores, has never been charged or convicted of a serious crime.

On Oct. 8, Ballard pleaded guilty to moving large amounts of coke between Baltimore and the Eastern Shore from 2004 to '08. During a search on Nov. 24, 2004, at his home on Shadyside Road in Baltimore, law enforcers recovered seven kilograms of cocaine from his car and $25,000 in drug cash from the house. Later that day, law enforcers recovered more than $6,000 in drug proceeds from another Ballard residence at 922 E.43rd St.

Ballard, who also has resided in Princess Anne, in Somerset County, has drug- and gun-related charges dating to the mid-1990s. He pleaded guilty to felony drug charges in 1998, and guilty to a drug-trafficking conspiracy in Baltimore in 2001, for which he was sentenced to five years in prison.

On Feb. 9, 2006, law enforcers observed him exchanging bags with Phillips and Green late at night in a parking lot in Prince George's County. A search of two vehicles revealed drugs and approximately $890,000 in cash. Law enforcers seized an additional $34,000 from Ballard that same day. During the search Ballard presented a fraudulent Maryland driver's license. Between December 2005 and October 2007, he admits that he conspired with an MVA employee to obtain Maryland driver's licenses and personal-identification cards with the names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth of other individuals without their knowledge.

On Jan. 8, 2008, law enforcement arrested Ballard and seized more than $80,000 in drug proceeds and a fraudulent ID card. Shortly after, he was added as a defendant through a superceding federal indictment in the Phillips Cocaine Organization case in Philadelphia, in which Ballard has agreed to plead guilty. Ballard will forfeit more than $1 million in drug proceeds seized during the separate investigation that led to his federal charges in Maryland. His plea agreement here states that the government is recommending a 17-year sentence to run concurrent with a similar sentence for his role in the Phillips Organization. He is scheduled for sentencing in federal court in Baltimore on Jan. 8, 2009.

Maurice Phillips is facing trial late next year, in a complex and chilling case that extends from Mexico to the Eastern Seaboard. Phillips and 10 other defendants, including Ballard, were indicted on a range of violent drug-trafficking charges including use of a FedEx employee's uniform to disguise an assassin hired to kill a potential witness who had been part of their drug-money laundering conspiracy. The federal government has seized a number of Phillips' houses from New Jersey to North Carolina, including a house in Prince George's County and a Baltimore residence at 4111 Boarman Ave.

Shawn Green has been a federal fugitive since he fled in early 2007. His accomplices in his drug and money-laundering schemes included his mother Yolanda Crawley, mortgage broker David Lincoln, and lawyer Rachel Donegan, who were sentenced earlier this year to two years, 15 months and probation, respectively.

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Tags: Phillips Cocaine Organization, Shawn Michael Green, Noel Liverpool, Anthony Wayne Ballard, drug trafficking, money laundering, shadow economy

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