A federal judge has ordered detention hearings for four men who were arrested during raids by a drug task force late Monday night and charged with operating a major Miami-to-Baltimore cocaine ring.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul M. Rosenberg scheduled detention hearings Friday for George Bonnett, 26, of Glen Burnie, the alleged ringleader; Lazaro Ramirez, 37, of Hialeah, Fla., the ring's alleged supplier; Donald Hinkle, 25, also of Glen Burnie; and Jerry Kline, 24, of Pasadena.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jan P. Miller told Rosenberg the government regards all four men as dangerous to community safety and high risks for flight to avoid prosecution.
Rosenberg freed Carl "Carlos" Wyatt, 24, of Baltimore, an alleged lieutenant in the drug ring, on a $25,000 bond. Joseph Schlick, 27, of South Baltimore, was freed on a $50,000 bond.
A pre-trial services officer told the judge that Kline, a male dancer who has been unemployed for 11 1/2 years, is on probation on a 1990 drug distribution conviction in state court and has a criminal record that includes battery, deadly weapons possession and assault.
Another pre-trial services officer said Schlick's urine tested positive for cocaine yesterday.
But Rosenberg said he believes that Schlick, who is married and has three children and a fulltime job, is unlikely to flee and leave his wife and family stranded.
The six men were among eight arrested here and in Florida late Monday by federal agents and state and local police. Authorities said they raided 10 homes and warehouses in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County and prevented Ramirez from selling more than 13 pounds of cocaine to Bonnett.
Authorities questioned and released William Bowers, 26, after his arrest Monday night.
Another suspect, Jimmy "Bonecrusher" Clark, 23, of Baltimore, surrendered to drug agents last night in the company of his lawyer. Another suspect named in an arrest warrant, Michael Frey, 26, also of Baltimore, is still at large.
Police and Drug Enforcement Administration agents said the gang had been the target of a joint task force for 17 months. The task force was formed to crack down on violent drug organizations that use murder, threats and intimidation to bolster their business.
Authorities accuse the ring of distributing $20 million worth of cocaine per month in the metropolitan Baltimore area since last June.