Arrests break up 30-year-old Baltimore-Eastern Shore drug ring, police say

June 15, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Sun Staff Writer

Federal, state and local authorities announced yesterday that they have crushed a drug ring that operated for more than three decades and sold up to $1,000 worth of heroin a day in Baltimore and the Eastern Shore.

Authorities have obtained arrest warrants charging 36 people who allegedly have ties or bought heroin from the drug organization. Among those being held are the ring's suspected bosses, Robert A. Neverdon Sr., 53, and Douglas E. Donahue, 60, both of West Baltimore, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman said.

"They've been involved in narcotics distribution for decades, lTC basically since before I was born," said DEA Special Agent Frank S. Franco, the spokesman. "They had a big clientele in Baltimore, as well as on the Eastern Shore."

Agent Franco said Mr. Donahue once lived in Salisbury and teamed up with Mr. Neverdon to open an Eastern Shore drug market. Buyers often drove to Baltimore to complete drug deals with organization members, Agent Franco said.

"These aren't poor old men. They've been getting rich off drugs for a long time," Agent Franco said. "We don't stop our enforcement activities just because the people are older. They're still putting the poison on the streets."

The other suspects range in age from 25 to 62. Most are in their mid-30s to mid-40s.

For more than 30 years, the ring has supplied street-level heroin in Baltimore and has branched out to the Eastern Shore -- Dorchester, Wicomico and Worcester counties -- in recent years, authorities said.

The investigation began after Mr. Neverdon's arrest in January 1993, when drug agents raided an apartment in the 800 block of George St. and seized more than a half-kilogram of heroin worth $75,000 and $14,000 in cash, DEA agents said.

Of the 36 people charged by a Baltimore grand jury on Friday, about 20 had been arrested as of last night, Agent Franco said. Most were Baltimore residents.

The investigation was conducted by DEA and city narcotics agents and state police in several Eastern Shore jurisdictions, police said. Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents and U.S. Postal Service inspectors also assisted in the case.

Mr. Neverdon, of the 900 block of N. Fulton Ave., and Mr. Donahue, of the 1100 block of W. Lafayette Ave., are being held on $1 million bail each at the Baltimore City Detention Center, Agent Franco said. Both were charged with narcotics distribution and conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

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