Press Release: U.S. Department of Justice
Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that Robert Cedrick Baker, III, age 37, of Gainesville, Florida entered a plea of guilty today to possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Mr. Baker entered his plea before the Honorable Hugh Lawson, United States District Judge in Valdosta, Georgia.
Mr. Baker, a former player in the National Football League, was stopped by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office in the evening of January 20, 2013 on Georgia Highway 401 for a traffic violation. A consensual search of his car revealed that Mr. Baker was in possession of 59.5 grams of heroin and a Smith & Wesson, 9mm semi-automatic pistol. As part of his plea of guilty, Mr. Baker admitted that he possessed the heroin for distribution, and he was carrying the 9mm semi-automatic pistol in furtherance of his drug trafficking crime.
“Mr. Baker made a terrible mistake when he chose to traffic illegal drugs, and particularly when he brought a gun along to help him do so,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore. “He will have a long time to reflect on that mistake in federal prison.”
The maximum penalty for possession with intent to distribute heroin is twenty (20) years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000.00, or both, followed by a term of supervised release of at least three (3) years. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five (5) years, up to a maximum term of life in prison, a fine of $250,000.00, or both, followed by a term of supervised release of five (5) years. By statute, the term of imprisonment imposed for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime will run consecutive to the term of imprisonment imposed for possession with intent to distribute heroin.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Peter Leary is handling the prosecution for the Government.