Man tied to drug ring takes plea bargain

CRIME WATCH

Baltimore & Region

October 12, 2005|By JULIE BYKOWICZ

A man charged as a kingpin in a major East Baltimore drug ring pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute cocaine under a plea agreement that means he will spend three years in prison.

Prosecutors said William Nicholson, 28, of Abingdon supplied high-volume drug dealers in Baltimore with large quantities of cocaine. Had he been successfully prosecuted as a drug kingpin, Nicholson could have faced 40 years in prison.

Nicholson was among more than two dozen charged as a result of wiretap investigations conducted in 2002 and 2003 by city, county and federal authorities. He was the link between New York drug suppliers and Baltimore dealers, said Assistant State's Attorney Michael Studdard.

Two of those dealers, Clayton "Lurch" White of Rossville and Nicholas Georgantakis of Southeast Baltimore, have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison terms of 20 years and 15 years, respectively. Two New York suppliers were convicted federally as a result of the wiretap and the ensuing investigation.

Nicholson had pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and was to be sentenced to 15 years in prison, the first five without parole. But Baltimore Circuit Judge John M. Glynn vacated that plea deal after learning that crucial evidence -- drugs found in Nicholson's vehicle -- were improperly seized, said Lawrence B. Rosenberg, Nicholson's attorney.

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