Two men arrested, charged with running drug operation Hundreds of pounds of crack sold in Annapolis, authorities say

October 28, 1998|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

A three-year federal and local law enforcement investigation culminated this week in the arrest of two former Maryland men who authorities say ran a drug operation responsible for selling at least 330 pounds of crack cocaine in Annapolis over the past seven years.

Federal authorities said they seized $3 million and 57 properties connected to David J. Beavers, 31, formerly of Annapolis, and his alleged "right-hand man," Darren O. Flowers, 34, formerly of Ellicott City, who were arrested in Virginia Monday.

A federal grand jury indicted the men last week on charges of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine in Annapolis public housing communities; conspiracy to commit tax fraud for allegedly concealing assets; and income tax evasion for allegedly failing to report drug income from 1993 to 1995.

The U.S. attorney's office announced the arrests and seizures yesterday.

"This is the result of a long and hard investigation by federal, state and local agencies that crossed state lines," said Peter A. Gulotta Jr., a spokesman for the Baltimore division of the FBI. "It's quite a significant case."

Lt. Stan M. Malm, head of the Annapolis police criminal investigative unit, said, "That's a lot of drugs, especially for this city."

The arrest of Beavers and Flowers came shortly after the breakup of two other drug organizations in the area. Curtis A. Spencer and his associates also sold crack in city housing projects, and John Baumgarten and his two sons ran a large cocaine ring out of their Cape St. Claire home and Severna Park barbershop.

Three years ago, the FBI asked city police to join a federally funded task force that included agents of the Internal Revenue Service, the Anne Arundel County police and the county state's attorney's office to investigate the drug ring they suspected was being run by Beavers and Flowers.

According to court documents, the investigation turned up an operation that used a complex system of pay telephones, calling cards, pagers with codes, hotel rooms and rental cars to evade police surveillance. The organization also allegedly used cash, money orders and real and phony businesses as a front to hide drug earnings.

The documents say that in September 1991, Beavers began supplying a man identified as Lawrence Montague with with an ounce of cocaine powder on three occasions. A year later, they say, Beavers began purchasing crack from a man identified as John Cherry.

The purchases and sales, conducted mostly in Annapolis, increased over the years, according to the documents. By May 1994, Beavers was buying "the special," 8.8 pounds of crack worth $70,000, from Cherry every two weeks until Cherry's arrest in January 1995, the documents say.

FBI agents got a court order to tap Beavers' phone and others in November 1993. By 1995, they had discovered that Cherry had sold Beavers at least 330 pounds of crack at prices ranging from about $8,000 to $11,000 a pound.

Beavers and Flowers moved to Virginia Beach in 1994 and tried to launder their drug money and "create an air of respectability in their new hometown" by purchasing property in Virginia to renovate and sell, the documents say. Ownership usually was in the name of family members, including Beavers' mother.

The men used business fronts to establish a purportedly legitimate source of income, documents say. In one case, Beavers, who never had a barber's license, filed several income tax returns claiming he owned a barber shop in Lanham, the documents say.

Beavers started R&B Auto Body Repair & Accessories Inc. on Hudson Street in Annapolis in 1993 but soon ran into trouble when he filed income tax returns that did not reflect his income, the documents say.

The investigation also touched Beavers' relatives. Bank accounts of his mother and father, Sammie and Johnnie Washington, showed cash deposits ranging from $19,676 in 1993 to $25,697 in 1994.

Monday, FBI agents called Beavers at his Virginia Beach home, where he was found with his family, said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Schenning. Beavers "asked not to be arrested in front of his children, so he came outside where he was arrested by our agents," Schenning said.

Flowers turned himself in to Norfolk, Va., police later that afternoon.

Both men are being held in Norfolk without bail and are expected back in Maryland soon to await court proceedings. Each could face a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $4 million fine on the drug conspiracy charges.

Pub Date: 10/28/98

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