Investigation of cocaine ring produces three arrests

October 06, 1992|By From Staff Reports

Because of erroneous information from police, an article in The Sun yesterday incorrectly reported that a drug raid took place at an auto repair shop at Malvern and Holabird avenues in Southeast Baltimore. In fact, the raid occurred at Anvil Auto, in the 6300 block of Holabird Ave.

The Sun regrets the errors.

A city firefighter was one of three men arrested yesterday after police seized $250,000 in cocaine as part of an investigation into a ring that shipped drugs into Baltimore from New York City.

Seized in four separate raids were more than 4 pounds of cocaine, three handguns and two classic automobiles -- a 1925 Ford Coupe and a 1930 Ford Roadster -- that were believed to have been purchased with drug money.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Police said they expected to charge at least 35 more people in the ring, which allegedly ran cocaine into Baltimore from the Bronx.

"Runners" traveled to New York to pick up as much as 4 pounds of cocaine a week and returned to sell it in Baltimore and Baltimore County, police said.

The firefighter was identified as Gerard Cifarelli, 25, who lives in Shrewsbury, Pa.

He is assigned to the Rescue 1 unit at the Steadman House on South Howard Street. He was arrested at a house in the 6600 block of Danville Ave.

Also arrested were Carroll V. Galinus, 49, of the 6600 block of Danville Ave., and James Ray Rodgers, 51, of the 1400 block of Broening Highway.

Mr. Galinus is the suspected head of the interstate drug ring, police said.

The investigation was coordinated by a Maryland State Police interstate drug trafficking unit, with assistance from city and Baltimore County police.

Police learned Mr. Galinus was allegedly expecting a shipment of cocaine and narcotics officers began a surveillance operation on Monday evening, police said.

After Mr. Cifarelli went to visit Mr. Galinus at his home, police obtained search warrants to look for the suspected drug shipment, authorities said.

In Mr. Cifarelli's car, a 1990 Ford Thunderbird that was later seized, narcotics officers found 4.4 pounds of cocaine hidden behind a rear door panel, police said.

The three suspects were being held at the Southeastern District lockup awaiting a bail hearing. Each was charged with possession with intent to distribute narcotics and handgun violations.

The arrests occurred when narcotics officers from the Southeastern District raided a liquor store in the 6400 block of Holabird Ave. and a repair shop for high-performance cars at Malvern and Holabird avenues.

A court-approved wiretap was used to gather evidence in the case, police said.

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