Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Panagoltis Skordalos, age 43, of Baltimore, Maryland to four years in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, after Skordalos pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
The guilty plea and sentence were 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 Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office.
According to his guilty plea, from September 2020 to November 2020, Skordalos participated in a Baltimore, Maryland drug trafficking organization (DTO) that distributed large quantities of controlled substances, including heroin. Skordalos joined the DTO less than three weeks after his release from state prison.
In September 2020, federal agents assigned to the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force began intercepting electronic and wire communications between Skordalos and the DTO’s leader. The intercepted communications revealed that Skordalos was a mid-level heroin distributor and that the DTO leader was Skordalos’s heroin supplier.
For example, on October 16, 2020, investigators intercepted a series of communications between Skordalos and the DTO leader in which Skordalos arranged to purchase 20 grams of heroin for $1,400. On the same day, agents observed Skordalos conduct a heroin transaction with the DTO leader at a Baltimore transitional home where Skordalos was living after his release from incarceration.
As stated in Skordalos’s plea agreement, on November 16, 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the DTO leader’s Baltimore, Maryland stash apartment. As a result of the executed search warrant, law enforcement recovered, among other things, digital scales, blenders, hydraulic presses, packaging materials, and approximately 218 grams of a mixture containing multiple controlled substances, including heroin.
This prosecution was brought as a part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Co-located Strike Forces Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations against a continuum of priority targets and their affiliate illicit financial networks. These prosecutor-led co-located Strike Forces capitalize on the synergy created through the long-term relationships that can be forged by agents, analysts, and prosecutors who remain together over time, and they epitomize the model that has proven most effective in combating organized crime. The specific mission of the Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force is to reduce violent, drug-related, and gang crime in the Baltimore area and surrounding region.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, DEA, and the USPIS for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey J. Izant, 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 www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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