BALTIMORE, Md. – Nine Maryland residents are among 18 people rounded up in Anne Arundel and Howard counties, New Jersey and California Jan. 15 as local and state police and federal agents closed in on what they described as a multi-state drug trafficking and money laundering enterprise.
The defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury Jan. 10 for distributing large amounts of marijuana, diverted pharmaceuticals, steroids, cocaine and other controlled substances. Maryland law enforcement agents were among the 250 officers who staged coordinated raids on homes and businesses in Maryland, New Jersey and California.
The indictment seeks a money judgment of at least $10 million, and the forfeiture of eight properties, 22 bank accounts, 24 vehicles, and the assets and inventory of three businesses.
Alexandros Lineberry, 36, of Arnold, Md., Jeffrey Dennis Small, 32, of Annapolis and Donald Goodman, 63, of Baltimore were arrested and indicted for the marijuana distribution conspiracy, prosecutors said.
The drug trafficking organization primarily dealt marijuana in Anne Arundel and Howard counties, but also distributed cocaine and diverted pharmaceuticals, according to a news release by U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to prosecutors, the investigation began when defendant Frederick Thomas was in a single car accident on Route 100 at Quarterfield Road in Anne Arundel County on Jan. 7, 2012. Law enforcement officers found a shrink-wrapped package of 590 grams of marijuana, a money-counting machine, a tally sheet and 126 bank money bands for $2,000.
Also arrested in the raids were Kerem Dayi, a/k/a “Kenny” and “Cashmir,” 40, of Gambrills, Maryland, and California; Robert Randall Glickman, 61 , of Dallas, Texas; Scott Russell Segal, 31, of Glen Burnie and Hanover, Md.; Gabriel Gonzalez, 26; Gokahn Bergal, 29, of Clifton, N.J.; Steven Neil Madden, 43, of Randallstown, Md.; Martin Dandy, 31, of Arnold, Md.; Patrick Russo, 39 , of Fairfield, N.J.; Ryan Burton Wheeler, 32, of Annapolis, Md.; Anthony Caesar Santoiemma, a/k/a “Bo,” 43, of Annapolis; Anthony Evans Owings Seen, 26, of Glen Burnie; Christopher John Garner, 41, of Hanover; Frederick Blair Thomas, 31, of Glen Burnie; Sae Hyong Hwang, 33, of Odenton, Md.; and Charles Michael Thomson, 62, of Savage, Minn.
At least 30 vehicles, 60 pounds of marijuana, $300,000 in cash and 35 firearms have been seized.
They are charged in the indictment with conspiring to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, and all of these defendants except Charles Thomson are also charged with conspiring to launder the drug proceeds, the U.S. attorney said.
Overseeing the arrests and raids were acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Brisolari of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Washington Field Division; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Larry W. Tolliver; Howard County Police Chief William McMahon; Special Agent in Charge Steven L. Gerido of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Baltimore Field Division; acting Special Agent in Charge Sheila Olander of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. field office; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Postal Inspector in Charge Gary R. Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division.
Prosecutors said the organization was led by Dayi, who obtained marijuana from contacts in California and New Jersey. He allegedly had 20 pounds or more of marijuana shipped, or 50 to 400 pounds of marijuana driven, to Maryland at a time.
He also directed the storage of marijuana at houses rented and managed by him and members of the organization, and directed the movement of marijuana and cash between Maryland, California, Ohio and New Jersey, prosecutors said.
Segal was said by prosecutors to be the main wholesale distributer in Anne Arundel County, maintaining a stash house off of Interstate 97. Santoiemma allegedly brokered deals on behalf of Dayi.
Marijuana proceeds were allegedly sewn into handbags and delivered to the source of supply in California. Santoiemma allegedly supplied young women to the organization who would fly from BWI to California with these handbags. Thomas allegedly worked at the direction of Dayi, Segal and Santoiemma, prosecutors said.
The drug organization allegedly laundered the drug proceeds by smuggling bulk cash in cars, sending cash through the mail and commercial delivery services, structuring deposits into bank accounts and removing it from banks in other states and by investing money into, and removing money from, otherwise legitimate businesses.
The organization allegedly established an eBay business named Krush, NYC, LLC for use as a front for marijuana distribution and the laundering of the proceeds. According to prosecutors, Krush, conducted eBay sales of liquidated shoes, clothing and accessories, used a warehouse in Jessup, Md. for business purposes and allegedly used the warehouse for marijuana distribution.
If convicted, all of the defendants would face a maximum sentence of life in prison for the drug conspiracy; and the 14 defendants charged in the indictment with the money laundering conspiracy would face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The first of the defendants arrested in Maryland appeared for arraignment Jan. 15 at the U.S. District Court in Baltimore.