4 arrested in breakup of area drug ring Police say 12 pounds of cocaine found is fraction of weekly sales

April 06, 1997|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Police broke up a drug ring in which millions of dollars worth of cocaine was smuggled into the Baltimore area and uncovered connections stretching from an Atlanta nightclub to a Maryland prison cell, authorities disclosed yesterday.

Four men were arrested during a series of 22 raids Friday night in the city, Baltimore and Kent counties and Georgia. Police also disclosed that an inmate at the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup was suspected of directing part of the operation from his cell.

Police said they expect 25 Maryland residents -- including the inmate -- to be indicted in the case.

One suspect, identified as Dwight M. Gregory, 33, was arrested Friday in his upscale Towson apartment four blocks from the Baltimore County police headquarters. Police reported finding more than 12 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $500,000 at the apartment.

Bail of $5 million was set for Gregory, who was charged with possession with intent to distribute drugs.

Police said the drugs seized represented only a fraction of the ring's weekly sales in the Baltimore area -- estimated at more than 40 pounds, said Lt. James Steedman of the Baltimore Police Department's drug enforcement unit.

"Some individuals will be out of cocaine for a while until they can find other sources," he said when asked about the impact on the raids at a news conference at the police headquarters on East Joppa Road.

Undercover detectives laid out a spread of seized items that covered more than 10 tabletops. Items included the drugs, $223,820, 14 cellular phones, five handguns and two assault rifles. Police also confiscated five vehicles, including a Nissan Quest van, a Mazda 929 and a Nissan 300ZX.

One of the cars, a nondescript light-blue Honda station wagon, had a hidden compartment under the back seat that was wired to the battery and could be opened only by turning on the ignition and initiating a sequence of actions, such as turning on the defroster or headlights.

The police used a different technique -- ripping it open. They said they found nothing inside.

Lt. Mel Blizzard, head of Baltimore County's drug unit, said authorities began their investigation in early 1996 after receiving a tip. He said they have not identified the source of the drugs, which were driven to Maryland from southern states.

Gregory had addresses in Houston, New York City and Atlanta, in addition to the raided apartment in the 300 block of E. Joppa. Police said he worked at a nightclub in the Atlanta area.

Raid sites Friday night included suspected drug stash houses and the residences of suspected dealers or customers.

One other suspect was arrested in Baltimore County. Eric Mann Dorsey, 26, of the 400 block of Shirley Manor Road in Reisterstown was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Police said two men arrested in Baltimore were charged with gun possession. They worked at the King Solomon's car detailing shop in the 6500 block of Pulaski Highway.

Police also raided American Eagle Check Cashing at Mondawmin Mall, where they said most of the money was found.

Pub Date: 4/06/97

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