9 indicted in drug ring conspiracy

January 18, 1994|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

An Anne Arundel County grand jury indicted nine people yesterday, including two brothers and their mother, on charges of conspiring to operate a drug ring.

State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee said that Steven E. Downey, 20, of the 6400 block of Golden Oak Road, Linthicum, was at the center of the ring, which distributed marijuana in Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore counties.

Mr. Downey, who was arrested in October, was being held without bail yesterday. He was indicted on three counts of operating as a drug kingpin.

His mother, Betty Ann Downey, 52, of the same address, was indicted on four counts of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy.

His brother, James Patrick Downey Jr., 31, of Baltimore, was indicted in conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

According to charging documents filed against Steven Downey, police overheard Mr. Downey, in wiretapped telephone conversations from his home, tell a suspected drug source in Florida that he had 172 pounds of marijuana but was having trouble selling the 122 pounds of it that had turned brown.

Mr. Downey had $180,000 in a safe deposit box, $6,000 with him when he was arrested, and admitted to police that he previously had shipped 100 pounds of marijuana, according to court documents.

Mr. Downey, who is a graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School and worked for a carpet dealership in Baltimore, had no criminal history and no drug problem when arrested, according to his statements at a bail review hearing then.

Mr. Weathersbee declined to say yesterday how the defendants met, how the ring operated, or how much marijuana it brought into the county.

But he said the ring was smaller and not as well established as the operation run by James Emory, of Pasadena, and Roger Emory, of Glen Burnie, two brothers who were convicted as drug kingpins last year.

The six other defendants were indicted yesterday on two counts each of conspiracy to distribute drugs. They include:

Melvin G. Bowen, Jr., 24, of Baltimore; Michael J. Sharbaugh, 27, of Baltimore; Matthew A. Bush, 21, of Baltimore; Michael C. Cho, 20, of Ellicott City; William S. Richards, 27, of Eldersburg, and Daniel K. Fendlay, 27, of Baltimore.

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