A 33-year-old Annapolis man pleaded guilty yesterday to drug distribution charges stemming from an investigation in which county police dug up $203,000 in cash in the man's back yard.
Antonio D. Boston faces 10 years in prison after he admitted in Circuit Court to possession with intent to distribute drugs and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
Boston originally had been charged under Maryland's drug kingpin law, but those charges were dropped during plea negotiations because investigators determined he ran only a small-scale operation, said Warren W. Davis III, assistant state's attorney.
"The charge implies some organization and he was operating a very significant operation, but it wasn't a large operation in terms of organization," Mr. Davis said.
He said the investigation began March 19 when police in New Mexico stopped a car being driven by Boston's brother-in-law, Randy Glaze, 32, of Spencer, Ind.
In the car, police found 145 pounds of marijuana.
Police said that Boston had flown to Arizona and arranged for the drug deal, then flew back to Maryland using an alias.
Mr. Davis said that Boston paid $235,000 for the marijuana confiscated from Mr. Glaze's car. He also paid Mr. Glaze, who was unemployed, $6,000 for driving the marijuana back to Maryland, Mr. Davis said.
Mr. Davis said evidence showed that Boston used his brother-in-law to make three such trips. Boston also routinely had drugs shipped to his home, using Federal Express couriers for the shipments, he said.
Mr. Davis said that Mr. Glaze implicated Boston and that a March 21 police search of Boston's home, on Shively Court in Rolling Knolls outside Annapolis, turned up $103,000 in cash buried in a bucket.
Another $100,000 was found buried in a cooler during a search of the yard on March 30, Mr. Davis said.
Police also found 11.6 grams of hashish at the house, he said.
Mr. Davis said he will recommend that Boston receive the 10-year maximum sentence.
"He may not be a drug kingpin, but he's still a very significant drug dealer who should do some significant time," he said.
Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. set sentencing for Nov. 9.