Ayersman kin pleads guilty in drug case

April 26, 1996|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

Almost a year after Dayton contractor Randolph Ayersman admitted in federal court to participating in a multimillion-dollar drug ring, his brother has pleaded guilty to state drug charges.

Harold Ayersman, 40, of Woodbine, pleaded guilty April 18 to one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The plea stemmed from his role in smuggling more than 3 tons of marijuana from Mexico to Maryland.

He will serve six months in the Howard County Detention Center and cooperate with investigators as part of the plea agreement, said Assistant State's Attorney Mary Murphy.

Last May, Randolph Ayersman pleaded guilty to federal drug conspiracy and money-laundering charges alleging that he ran a wholesale drug ring out of his western Howard County home for a decade. Randolph Ayersman also ran A&A Contracting, a company that built plush homes throughout rural parts of the county.

The plea by Harold Ayersman may represent the beginning of the end for the joint county, state and federal investigation dubbed "Operation Easy Money," drug enforcement officials say.

"We got the distributors, the transporters and the suppliers," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Kay yesterday.

A money-laundering case against Woodbine developer Philip Manglitz is still pending. Prosecutors allege that Mr. Manglitz, through his business, Carman Associates, aided the ring by accepting huge amounts of cash from the Ayersmans to purchase lots.

Mr. Manglitz allegedly doctored his books to hide the total amount of money he received. A trial is pending.

Pub Date: 4/26/96

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