Four men are charged in drug raid on The Block

Three worked at club previously fined $15,000

January 28, 2003|By Del Quentin Wilber and Scott Calvert | Del Quentin Wilber and Scott Calvert,SUN STAFF

A recent raid on The Block has netted police a cache of drugs and the arrests of three employees of an adult nightclub that was once fined $15,000 for allowing drug dealing on the premises.

Police said the drug-distribution arrests were related to a search warrant detectives served at Circus Show Bar on Friday night in the 400 block of E. Baltimore St. Three employees were charged Saturday with drug offenses: Jules Gordon, 50, Joseph Bukowski, 49, and Charles George Arnold III, 31.

It is not clear how another suspect charged with drug offenses, Neil Joseph Tourangeau, 36, is connected to the establishment. Gordon and Bukowski were released on bond. Arnold and Tourangeau were being held in lieu of bail last night.

Detectives were serving the warrant about 10:30 p.m. when they noticed the doorman, Arnold, selling what appeared to be drugs to people on the street, police said.

As detectives approached the Circus, Arnold ran into the bar and began alerting people about the bust, police said. Gordon then removed a plastic bag from his pants and threw it to Bukowski, a part-time bartender, who hid the bag behind a freezer, police said.

Detectives found the bag, which they said contained 50 smaller bags of suspected cocaine, and recovered suspected marijuana from a fanny pack on Arnold, they said. They also seized several hundred dollars in cash from the bar.

Detectives seized $91 from Tourangeau, who was the focus of the search warrant, police said. Tourangeau was charged with marijuana possession and distribution because he is accused of previously selling marijuana to undercover detectives, police said.

None of the defendants could be reached for comment yesterday.

Gordon owns another strip club on The Block, the Plaza Saloon at 404 E. Baltimore St. Since February 2000, records show, adult entertainment violations have cost the Plaza $22,125 -- more than the liquor board has fined any other Block club during that period.

In that span, the board pulled the Plaza's adult entertainment and liquor licenses three times for a total of 25 days. The list of offenses is long, including out-in-the-open sex and attempted pimping, according to liquor board records.

The Circus, whose liquor license is held by Gordon's wife, Shelley, has been fined $5,650 for adult entertainment violations since early 2000.

In October 1999, the liquor board ordered Shelley Gordon to sell the club's liquor license within 90 days after concluding that a doorman sold cocaine to an undercover police officer.

The board later allowed Gordon to pay a $15,000 fine to settle the case, though a Circuit Court judge upheld the decision. The board was worried that a further appeal by the club to the Court of Special Appeals might succeed. Another Block club, the Flamingo, had a pending appeal at the time.

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