UPDATE: This release was just received from the US Attorney for Maryland, Rod Rosenstein:
Eighteen defendants alleged to be part of a large drug trafficking organization operating in Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland; New Jersey; and California, have been charged in connection with distributing large amounts of marijuana, diverted pharmaceuticals, steroids, cocaine and other controlled substances. Approximately 250 law enforcement agents participated in the execution of today’s search and arrest warrants. Fifteen of the defendants have been charged by 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:
- Kerem Dayi, a/k/a “Kenny” and “Cashmir,” age 40, of Gambrills, Maryland, and California;
- Robert Randall Glickman, age 61 , of Dallas, Texas;
- Scott Russell Segal, age 31, of Glen Burnie and Hanover, Maryland;
- Gabriel Gonzalez, age 26;
- Gokahn Bergal, age 29, of Clifton, New Jersey;
- Steven Neil Madden, age 43, of Randallstown, Maryland;
- Martin Dandy, age 31, of Arnold, Maryland;
- Patrick Russo, age 39 , of Fairfield, New Jersey;
- Ryan Burton Wheeler, age 32, of Annapolis, Maryland;
- Anthony Caesar Santoiemma, a/k/a “Bo,”age 43, of Annapolis;
- Anthony Evans Owings Seen, age 26, of Glen Burnie;
- Christopher John Garner, age 41, of Hanover;
- Frederick Blair Thomas, age 31, of Glen Burnie;
- Sae Hyong Hwang, age 33, of Odenton, Maryland; and
- Charles Michael Thomson, age 62, of Savage Minnesota.
The indictment was returned under seal on January 10, 2013. Three defendants are charged by complaint with the marijuana conspiracy:
- Alexandros Lineberry, age 36, of Arnold;
- Jeffrey Dennis Small, age 32, of Annapolis; and
- Donald Goodman, age 63, of Baltimore.
The complaint was filed yesterday under seal. The indictment and complaint were unsealed today upon the arrests of 15 defendants and the execution of search warrants at 17 residences and businesses of the defendants in Maryland, five in New Jersey and one in California. At least 30 vehicles, 60 pounds of marijuana, $300,000 in cash and 35 firearms have been seized.
The indictment and complaint were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; 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.
“The Drug Enforcement Administration, working in partnership with both federal and local law enforcement, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland are bringing to justice18 members of a narcotic trafficking organization operating throughout the United States,” stated Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Brisolari of DEA’s Washington Division. “As a result of this investigation numerous properties, vehicles and banks accounts have been seized totaling millions of dollars.”
The affidavits supporting the complaint and search warrants allege that the defendants operated a drug trafficking organization in Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, primarily dealing in marijuana, but also dealing in cocaine and diverted pharmaceuticals. The investigation began when defendant Frederick Thomas was in a single car accident on Route 100 at Quarterfield Road in Anne Arundel County on January 7, 2012. Inside his car, agents discovered a shrink-wrapped package of 590 grams of marijuana, a money counting machine, a talley sheet and 126 bank money bands for $2,000.
The affidavits allege that further investigation revealed that Dayi is the drug organization’s leader. Dayi obtains the marijuana from contacts in California and New Jersey. Dayi has 20 pounds or more of marijuana shipped, or 50 to 400 pounds of marijuana driven, to Maryland at a time. Dayi directs the storage of marijuana at houses rented and managed by him and members of the organization, and directs the movement of marijuana and cash between Maryland, California, Ohio and New Jersey.
According to the affidavits, Dayi supplies the marijuana to Segal who is the main wholesale distributer in Anne Arundel County. Segal maintained a stash house off of Interstate 97 in Anne Arundel County. Santoiemma allegedly brokers deals on behalf of Dayi and makes a commission. 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.
The affidavits allege that Wheeler is a wholesale cocaine customer of Dayi, and supplies ounce and pound quantities of marijuana and cocaine to others for further distribution. Co-defendants Segal, Madden, Bergal, Gonzalez, Glickman, Hwang, Dandy, Seen and Russo are in Dayi’s innermost, trusted circle of lieutenants, who either buy/sell drugs, participate in the laundering of money and/or operate the daily business of Krush.
Glickman allegedly advises Dayi as to the laundering of drug proceeds. The drug organization allegedly launders 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 operated by members of the conspiracy . 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. Krush conducts EBay sales of liquidated shoes, clothing and accessories, and uses a warehouse in Jessup, Maryland for business purposes and allegedly for distribution of marijuana.
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.
All of the defendants 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 face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Initial appearances of the defendants arrested in Maryland began at 2:00 pm today in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
“IRS Criminal Investigation’s unique role in major drug trafficking investigations is to provide financial expertise by targeting the profit and financial gains of narcotics traffickers, enabling increased criminal prosecutions and asset forfeitures,” said Sheila Olander, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington DC Field Office. “Today’s successful execution of multiple arrests and search warrants is an important victory for the American public. IRS Criminal Investigation will continually collaborate on organized crime investigations along with its law enforcement partners to financially disrupt and dismantle those organizations and bring criminals to justice.”
An indictment and complaint are not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment or complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Howard County Police Department, ATF, IRS – Criminal Investigation, HSI Baltimore, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Maryland Financial Crime Task Force for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Andrea Smith and Brooke Carey, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.
Federal authorities have announced an indictment of 18 individuals who are accused of using an eBay Clothing company as a front for drug dealing in Anne Arundel and Howard Counties.
According to The Baltimore Sun in a tweet, more than 250 law enforcement officers were involved in executing search warrants earlier this morning.
250 agents involved in executing warrants today; oddly, this was not mentioned at presser an hour ago with all federal agencies present
— Justin Fenton (@justin_fenton) January 15, 2013
Apparently, the investigation was initiated when one of the defendants was involved in a car accident in Anne Arundel County and drugs and an accounting sheet were discovered.
This is a developing story and more information will be forthcoming.