City police today were continuing their investigation of an alleged drug-distribution ring being operated out of a motel room. Three New Yorkers were arrested yesterday after police raided the room.
Two kilos of rock, or pure, cocaine, worth as much as $1 million on the street, were confiscated at a northeast city motel, police said. Police would not identify the motel.
Dora Ramos, 24, Alberto Collido, 24, and Samuel Forero, 26, all of the borough of Queens in New York City, were charged with transportation of a controlled dangerous substance across state lines, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and simple possession, police said.
The three offered no resistance when they were seized at the motel about 8:30 a.m., police said.
Ramos is at the Women's Detention Center, and the men are at the Baltimore City Detention Center, police said.
"They were bringing [the drugs] down from New York City and selling it out of a motel here in Baltimore," said Capt. Michael Andrew, head of the drug enforcement unit.
Police confiscated packaged cocaine in five plastic bags, $175 and pieces of jewelry, including a diamond ring.
Police will trace the jewelry and test the drugs to learn more about their origins, Andrew said.
The drugs have a street value of $800,000 to $1 million, police said. If sold at $100 a gram that would total $1 million, police said.
One of the men seized yesterday had been arrested in 1983 in New York on cocaine distribution charges, police said, adding that they weren't sure of the status of those charges.
Surprisingly, police said, there were no weapons in the room.
"It's very unusual for [drug dealers] not to carry what they consider their protection," Andrew said.
Police said the raid is significant because of the quantity of pure cocaine involved -- over 4 pounds.
Dealers can dilute pure cocaine to boost profits, Andrew said.
The arrests came after an anonymous tip to the 685-DRUGS 24-hour police hot line. The hot line, which was started in September 1985, has yielded more than 9,600 arrests from more than 45,000 tips.
It's common for drug traffickers from other cities to choose Baltimore for a drug market since it is between Washington and New York and easily accessible from both cities, Andrew said.
He said there are 30,000 to 50,000 heroin addicts in Baltimore, allowing for "a great deal of profit to be made" by drug sellers.
"Unfortunately, they reap the profits and don't stay around to reap the violence," Andrew said.
Nevertheless, the key to yesterday's arrests is the hot line, Andrew said.
"That drug hot line is a great tool for us," Andrew said. "The eyes and ears out there are the people giving us information."