Drug Enforcement Administration

Washington, DC

Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge

June 12, 2007

Contact: Public Information Officer

Phone Number: (202) 305-8426

Operation Fowl Play

Heroin Drug Leaders so Rich They Built a Purse Out of Nothing but $100 Bills

JUN 12 -- (Baltimore, MD) Carl J. Kotowski, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) of the Baltimore District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with Baltimore City Police Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy, announced on June 7, 2007, the dismantlement of a violent heroin operation and the seizure of approximately 1 million glassine vials allegedly used to package heroin. DEA agents and members of the Baltimore City Police Organized Crime Division arrested 12 of 21 people sought on charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin. Thursday morning, more than 100 Baltimore police and DEA Agents conducted 12 search and seizure raids in connection with a Baltimore City Circuit Court grand jury indictments of 21 drug suspects.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Carl Kotowski, Assistant Special Agent In Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Baltimore Office. “The $100 purse, these guys had so much money.”

Also seized were 1 bullet proof vest, 5 guns and over $25,000.00 in cash. Before today, agents and city detectives charged 15 people and seized a kilogram of heroin, 120 grams of crack cocaine, three handguns and $40,000 in cash during this nine month investigation.

“Make no mistake about it: These people are dangerous, dangerous people with extensive records of violence,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm said. “You’re talking about a group that impacted the Baltimore metropolitan area: Howard County, Baltimore County, Montgomery County, and Harford County.”

“Agents also seized containers with hidden compartments that could be used to secretly store drugs” according to ASAC Kotowski. "From the information we learned from individuals in this investigation, we believe we prevented two homicides," Kotowski added.

Today’s announcement highlights cooperative efforts among the DEA, the Baltimore City Police Department and the Baltimore City States Attorneys Office to uncover and stop violent drug activity.

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