Under a plea-bargain agreement, alleged drug kingpin Robert Bruce Dowdy 3rd has pleaded guilty to racketeering and tax evasion and federal prosecutors dropped several drug charges and one of money-laundering.
Judge Frank A. Kaufman set sentencing for Dec. 13 after accepting Dowdy's plea yesterday. The maximum sentence Dowdy could receive is 21 years in jail and fines totaling $2.5 million.
Dowdy, 36, of the 1700 block of Winford Road in northeast Baltimore, distributed wholesale quantities of heroin to local dealers, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine J. Armentrout.
Dowdy and his drug organization imported enough heroin yearly to produce about 400,000 bags of heroin that would be sold on the street to users for $50 to $60 each, Armentrout said.
Dowdy, who had been under investigation since 1986, was arrested in February. His arrest occurred during a series raids in which police recovered more than $1.1 million in cash, two kilograms of uncut heroin, 29 weapons, 23 automobiles and furs and jewelry valued at more than $500,000.
Also recovered were several sophisticated money counters, like those used at larger banks.
According to the statement of facts in which Dowdy pleaded guilty, Dowdy conducted drug operations out of at least three locations, including the Winford Road residence where he lived with his mother and daughter.
The two other locations from which the Dowdy drug ring operated were apartments in the Liberty Gardens complex in the 7200 block of Oak Haven Circle and the Cedar Towers complex in the 3200 block of Twin Lakes Drive, according to the statement of facts. Both apartments are in the northwestern section of Baltimore County.
Investigators said that, when they searched the Oak Haven Circle apartment, the heroin powder residue from packaging was so thick that it clogged the air filter of the furnace/air conditioner.
During the investigation of Dowdy, authorities said, drug agents frequently used telephoned wiretaps in which they learned the names of several of Dowdy's drug lieutenants and how the operation worked.
Prosecutors also said that Dowdy failed to file tax returns for 1986 when he had an estimated income of more than $39,000 and owed more than $5,000.