Baltimore attorney Kenneth W. Ravenell pleaded not guilty to federal racketeering charges Wednesday, and his trial was scheduled to begin Dec. 9.
Ravenell appeared in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt Wednesday for an arraignment, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Ravenell is accused of receiving payments from a drug trafficker client and his associates in exchange for instructing them about how to evade police and continue their operations, according to prosecutors. He is charged with racketeering, drug and money laundering conspiracies.
Prosecutors say Ravenell “received substantial cash payments” in exchange for laundering money and protecting co-conspirators. Ravenell allegedly advised his clients to use pay phones and burner phones and to hold in-person meetings to discuss drug operations, as well as to remove batteries from cellphones and to leave the phones outside the room during meetings to prevent the proceedings from being recorded, according to the indictment.
Ravenell faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for racketeering conspiracy, 20 years for money laundering conspiracy and life in prison for narcotics conspiracy.
Ravenell, of Ravenell Law, was a partner at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy during the years referenced in the indictment, 2009 to 2014. The indictment accuses Ravenell of “violating the legitimate purposes of The Law Firm in order to enrich himself (and a co-conspirator) through illegal conduct, including receiving monies” from a drug trafficker and his associates during the period.