Happened to catch this on the local news.. Baltimore has been known as the Heroin Capital of the USA but I didnt know we had dudes running coke like Tony Mantana from Scarface… I just find it kinda funny.. They got millions in coke.. but ONLY 11 grand in cash!? Think the local po po got a finders fee?!
altimore police announced that they made the biggest cocaine seizure in the city’s history — nearly 91 pounds of the drug worth between $2 million and $3 million — early today.
The drugs were seized about 2 a.m. from a house in Southwest Baltimore as part of an investigation by the department’s Violent Crimes Impact Division, police said at a morning news conference where the cocaine was displayed. Officers also recovered about $11,000 in cash.
Police said one person was arrested, but the suspect’s name was not released because the investigation is ongoing and police are hoping to make more arrests.
“To get a 41-kilo seizure, that’s extraordinary by anyone’s measure in any community in this country,” Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said.
Major drug investigations can sometimes take years, but this one came together in a matter of weeks, according to Bealefeld. The cocaine was intended to be distributed regionally, possibly in Baltimore but also in Western Maryland or on the Eastern Shore, police said.
Officers had some prior knowledge about the man who was arrested, but recent intelligence gathered through tips and surveillance indicated that he played a larger role in the drug trade than was previously suspected, said Anthony Guglielmi, a police spokesman. Baltimore State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy said information that led to the bust came in part from a case that’s currently being prosecuted and praised the cooperation between police and her office.
Bealefeld described the enterprise as “a wholesale operation” and said officers were pursuing leads about the supplier of the drugs. No weapons were found in the raid, and the man was in the house by himself, Bealefeld said.
“These kilos would have been parceled out to probably many drug organizations in the area,” he said.
While Baltimore is known for its heroin problem, with an estimated 40,000 addicts, cocaine is widely distributed in the region, and today’s seizure was likely to affect the suburbs as much as the city, Bealefeld said.
The second-largest cocaine seizure by Baltimore police was about 60 pounds, made in 2006, authorities said.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has made a few bigger cocaine busts in the area, including the discovery of about 1,000 kilograms hidden in cylinders inside an East Baltimore warehouse in 1991, said Special Agent Edward Marcinko, a spokesman for the DEA’s Baltimore office.
Still, Marcinko said it was “very unusual” to find such a large stash of drugs inside the city limits.
“The stash location is usually — with that amount of drugs in question — it’s usually out in the suburbs,” Marcinko said.
Marcinko said local police departments occasionally make such large busts through “a lot of hard work and a little luck.”
“Everything’s got to be timed perfectly,” he said. “The next day, it could have been moved. The day before, it could have been moved.”
The DEA will assist city police with the investigation as needed, Marcinko said.
Baltimore Sun reporter Gus G. Sentementes and Associated Press writer Ben Nuckols contributed to this article.