A story in yesterday's editions incorrectly described the way a $2,500 bond was posted by Washington attorney Gene W. Stockman, who was arrested last Friday on a charge of conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute it. Stockman was released after his attorney, James R. Treese, deposited a personal check for the required $2,500 with police.
A Washington lawyer has been arrested by D.C. police on a conspiracy charge in connection with what authorities said was a multistate scheme to market almost four tons of marijuana recently flown to Louisiana from Colombia.
Detectives from the fugitive squad here arrested attorney Gene W. Stockman, 44, Friday after Stockman and 13 other persons in Louisiana and elsewhere in the country were indicted in Louisiana on an assortment of conspiracy counts.
The indictments came after federal and Louisiana state drug authorities intercepted a twin-engine Convair 240 cargo plane laden with what police said was 7,996 pounds of marijuana and 287,000 illicit Quaalude tablets as the plane landed at a small airfield in eastern Louisiana at dawn on Nov. 16.
Prosecutors estimated the combined street value the Quaaludes and the highly prized Colombian marijuana at $4 million to $5 million.
Quaalude is a brand name for an addictive sedative of "downer" sometimes used as a substitute for heroin. It has a street value in the Washington area of $4 to $5 a tablet.
Authorities arrested two men as they got out of the plane and seven more persons a short time later at a nearby Holiday Inn in Hammond, La. Five additional persons, including Stockman, were arrested later after state prosecutors obtained indictments in the case, bringing the total of those arrested to 14.
District Attorney Duncan S. Kempin Amite, La., said in a telephone interview yesterday that both Louisiana state police and federal Drug Enforcement Administration undercover agents had infiltrated the alleged drug operation. Even the farm near the airfield where the smugglers planned to stash the marijuana before distributing it to wholesale points in the country, Kemp said, was owned by the local sheriff.
The prosecutor said the 14 suspects were indicted on "various combinations of charges in nine indictments." Stockman was listed in only one of the indictments, he said, and was charged with conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute it.
Other persons listed in the indictments live in Louisiana, Florida and other states, Kemp said, and were part of what was intended to be an extensive marijuana wholesale distribution system. Stockman's role was believed to be that of a "financier," Kemp said.
"I can assure you he [Stockman] has neither the assets nor the income to fit such a characterization," Stockman's attorney, James Trees, said yesterday.
Stockman, reached at his home here yesterday declined to comment on the case.
The 44-year-old attorney is a partner in the firm of Schuyler, Birch, Swindler, McKie and Beckett. According to the Martindale-Hubbel Law Directory, the firm specializes in patent, trademark, copyright and unfair competition law.
When Stockman was arrested Friday, police said he immediately posted $2,500 cash bond with a roll of bills from his pocket.