An illegal Baltimore-based organization that allegedly trafficked in millions of dollars of cocaine has been shattered by the FBI, city and county police, the city state's attorney announced today.
Five suspects have been arrested and were to face a preliminary hearing today in Baltimore Circuit Court. Others in the metropolitan area are expected to be charged in the 27 indictments handed up last Friday.
Arrested were Linden Martin, 32, of the first block of Waldmann Mill Court; Conrad Ho Shang, 34, 3400 block of Dolfield Ave.; Shelly White, 5400 block of Jonquill Ave.; Patrick Ishmael, 26, 4200 block of Horizon Circle; and Clifton Grant, 33, 4900 block of West Hills Road.
Stuart O. Simms, the city prosecutor, said the five were arrested yesterday after a 22-month investigation that included the Baltimore County and city police departments and the Baltimore office of the FBI.
According to Simms, the organization operated in northwest Baltimore and Lochearn, Baltimore County.
During the investigation, undercover agents allegedly purchased 4 kilograms of high-grade cocaine and a quarter-pound of crack cocaine. The evidence, plus testimony of witnesses and police agents, was presented to a city grand jury, which handed up indictments Friday.
A total of about $4 million worth of cocaine was seized during the investigation, Simms said.
On Sunday, FBI agents followed the source trail of the Baltimore group to El Paso, Texas, where they arrested Jacques Thompson, 34, of the 2300 block of Orem Road in Baltimore. Thompson allegedly purchased 12 kilograms of high-grade cocaine worth $2.6 million, according to government estimates.
Simms said the Baltimore group purchased its narcotics in Texas after the drugs had been smuggled into the United States from Mexico.
Besides narcotics charges, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service is investigating the possible involvement of illegal aliens in the narcotics scheme.