Residents of an East Baltimore neighborhood may feel safer today after police said they cracked an drug ring that reportedly sold $4 million a year worth of cocaine and heroin.
"With this, it's like being a doctor. . . . We surgically removed the problem," Sgt. John V. Sieracki of the Eastern District, said yesterday.
The neighborhood around Barclay and 22nd streets "is clean. People can sit on their steps again," Sieracki said.
Yesterday, police rounded up the alleged ringleader and 13 other alleged members of the drug ring that was rooted in New York and was believed responsible for one death and one attempted murder.
Billy Guy, 25, of the Bronx, N.Y., the accused ringleader, was being held at the City Jail in lieu of a $10 million bail. He was charged under the state's drug kingpin law as were Anthony Simmons, 19, of the 900 block of Montpelier St., and Edwardo Cintron, 19, also of the Bronx.
Those convicted under the drug kingpin statute receive mandatory life sentences.
Bails for others arrested range from $30,000 to $10 million, police said.
"This is a major drug organization that we took down, organized by these New York guys that took over Baltimore," said Sierack. "We have arrested the overseers, the kingpins."
"It's a big thing for us," Sieracki said. "We usually get the street-level dealer. We actually went after the top guys who run and operate the operation. We figure if we take them out, we dry them up."
In all, 34 people were indicted Wednesday by a city grand jury, police said.
Arrest warrants were executed yesterday by police here and in New York, where agents of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency nabbed Cintron.
Five alleged members of the drug ring had already been jailed. Others are believed to be locked up in correctional facilities as a result of arrests in other cases, police said.
After hearing that police were searching for members of the drug ring, one man turned himself in at the Eastern District yesterday, police said.
During the investigation that began in March after complaints from neighborhood residents, police recovered more than 10 pounds of cocaine, 2 pounds of heroin, $25,000 in cash, $40,000 in jewelry and several weapons.
One suspect was arrested carrying 1,594 bags of suspected heroin and 2,473 vials of suspected cocaine, police said. Another suspect was wearing a $8,500 gold necklace with a figurine of Jesus Christ and two lambs whose eyes were made of diamonds, police said.
Police said the drug ring was made up mostly of men, but two women and three juveniles were involved as well.
According to Sieracki, Guy and his "New York Boys" would come down to Baltimore and rent rooms at expensive hotels and get Baltimoreans to sell drugs on the streets, specifically 22nd and Barclay streets.
Police believe the drug ring sold 25 bundles of heroin a day, earning about $10,000.
Guy was arrested under an alias recently and charged with loitering in a drug-free zone, police said.
In all, police issued 17 arrest warrants containing more than 100 charges against Guy, including possession of narcotics with intent to distribute, conspiracy to commit murder and smuggling.
The alleged enforcer of the organization, Douglas House, 22, of the Bronx, was carrying a .30-caliber assault rifle when he was arrested in July, police said. He allegedly fired 20 rounds into a crowd of people at the intersection of 22nd and Barclay streets one morning about 2 a.m. Someone fired back, and slightly injured two passers-by in the chest, police said.
In June, Valjaen Knight of East Baltimore was fatally shot in the head with a 9mm pistol, police said.
Paul Murray, no age given, of the 4400 block of La Plata Ave.; Christopher Woodard, 21, of the Bronx, and Earl Johnson, no age given, of the 400 block of E. 22 1/2 St. have been charged in connection with Knight's slaying, police said.