Father, 2 sons get prison terms for drug dealing in Severna Park

October 09, 1998|By Michael James | Michael James,SUN STAFF

John Baumgarten and his two sons have been sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms for running a giant cocaine ring out of their Severna Park barbershop, prosecutors said.

The Baumgarten organization sold more than 60 pounds of cocaine and instilled fear throughout Cape St. Claire, where the Baumgartens lived.

"We're especially pleased at the lengthy sentences because these prosecutions had a significant impact on the community in Anne Arundel County," said Lynne A. Battaglia, the U.S. attorney for Maryland. "This is a reward for local and federal authorities, and for citizen involvement."

During the six-week trial in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, prosecutors said community help was a key factor in building the case against the elder Baumgarten, 54, and his sons, John Jr., 34, and Anthony, 33.

On Wednesday, Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced John Baumgarten Sr. to 33 years in prison, John Jr. to 26 years, and Anthony to 30 years.

All of the sentences are without possibility of parole.

The men were convicted of drug distribution charges that could have carried life sentences in light of the large amount of drugs sold.

Witnesses testified that the Baumgartens brought the bulk of the cocaine into Maryland from Florida, where they owned several beach condominiums.

The government will seize those properties as part of a federal forfeiture order that requires the Baumgartens to turn over $3 million in assets that prosecutors say were linked to their drug dealing.

Former members of the organization, who testified after making plea deals with prosecutors, described threats against people the Baumgartens thought were disloyal.

At one point, they said, the younger Baumgartens were considering a $25,000 contract killing of a federal witness but canceled it because their father thought the killing would draw too much attention.

Pub Date: 10/09/98

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