Howard case tied to U.S. network Marijuana arrest in Ellicott City linked to couple from Texas

December 05, 1997|By Dail Willis and Mike Farabaugh | Dail Willis and Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A yearlong multiagency investigation has disrupted a drug network that stretched from Mexico to Maryland and brought 2,000 pounds of marijuana and cocaine into the state over the past year, authorities announced yesterday.

Among the 15 people arrested in the investigation, which is continuing, were a Texas couple who police say ferried the drugs -- some wrapped like Christmas gifts -- in their convertible Cadillac from the Dallas area to an interior design shop in Pikesville.

From there, police said, the drugs were sold in Howard, Carroll and Baltimore counties.

"This distribution network ultimately covered eight states and two foreign countries," said Col. David B. Mitchell, superintendent of the Maryland State Police, at a news conference yesterday in Pikesville.

On prominent display at the news conference were numerous 50-pound packages of marijuana, including one in Christmas wrapping paper.

Authorities said the network began in Mexico and stretched into Texas, primarily Dallas. From there, they said, the drugs moved, usually by car or truck, to Illinois, Missouri, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky -- and into Canada.

Mitchell and others involved in the investigation said the case began with a single arrest for marijuana possession in Ellicott City a year ago.

"We're often criticized for targeting street users -- but that's how this case developed," said James N. Robey, police chief in Howard County. "What started as a very routine drug investigation soon evolved."

Investigators from county police departments in Howard, Baltimore and Carroll counties worked with the Maryland State Police and officers in Sykesville and Westminster during the investigation.

After the initial buy in Ellicott City, police followed leads and buyers into Carroll and Baltimore counties.

Arrested at their homes Aug. 19 on possession of marijuana and paraphernalia charges were David Dyson, 30, and Karen Dyson, 26, of the 500 block of Quarrier Court in Westminster; Jeffrey Bell, 33, and Michelle Bell, 28, of the first block of WTTR Lane in Westminster; and Ken Owens, 32, and Babette Owens, 34, of the 3000 block of Regal Oak Court in Manchester.

Three ounces of marijuana were confiscated during those raids, police said.

Afterward, the investigation expanded into Baltimore County.

Police obtained search-and-seizure warrants for the home and business of Art Kargman, 28, of the 10900 block of Baskerville Road in Reisterstown.

Investigators arrested Kargman on distribution and trafficking charges, police said, and found 80 pounds of marijuana at his home and 4 pounds of cocaine at his business, Eagle Interior Concepts in the 9600 block of Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills.

Six people from Texas have been charged in a federal indictment with felony drug distribution and trafficking.

Authorities said yesterday they have seized 520 pounds of marijuana, 4 pounds of cocaine, $57,000, one personal watercraft, one boat, five cars and guns as part of the investigation.

Pub Date: 12/05/97

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