Two men who were arrested during a two-month drug investigation in 1994 by the now defunct Carroll County Narcotics Task Force pleaded guilty yesterday in separate cases in county Circuit Court.
In making plea arrangements with the men, prosecutors said they considered Tony Johnson, 37, of Westminster and David M. Gill, 25, of New York to be "runners" or "low-level street dealers" for a lucrative cocaine and heroin ring that operated in Westminster.
Gill's brother, Brian Gill, was charged as the leader of the group and sentenced in August to 25 years in prison without parole. He was the first person in the county to be convicted under Maryland's drug kingpin statute.
The Gills, Johnson and about 20 others were charged in the investigation, court records show.
Most involved in the ring were arrested in November 1994. At the time, Brian Gill admitted he was head of the group, which earned about $10,000 a week. He also told an undercover police officer his dealers were cocaine addicts who were promised a free bag of cocaine for every 20 sold.
Yesterday, Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of cocaine. In return for his guilty plea, he was sentenced to four years in prison with all but six months suspended.
In a statement of facts, prosecutor Theresa M. Adams said Johnson was caught on videotape Oct. 8, 1994, agreeing to sell $60 worth of cocaine to an undercover officer. He was arrested after making the sale.
David Gill pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to three years in prison, with the term beginning Jan. 5, 1995. The sentence was made concurrent with a three- to six-year term he is serving in New York on unrelated charges.
Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. ordered that Gill be returned immediately to New York prison authorities.
Pub Date: 5/30/96