A Northeast Washington man described by authorities as the supervisor of an operation to distribute high quality heroin in the 14th Street NW corridor has been indicted by a U.S. grand jury on conspiracy and drug charges.

Law enforcement sources described the man, Carlton Edwin (Zack) Bryant, 44, as a heroin wholesaler who distributes raw heroin to narcotics dealers in Washington who then dilute the drug for sale on the street. Bryant lives at 1243 Meigs PI. NE.

The indictment followed a six-month investigation by undercover agents for the Drug Enforcement Administration working in conjunction with the U.S. attorney's office here.

The indictment alleged that DEA undercover agents made eight heroin purchases from Bryant between September 1979 and March of this year in quantities ranging from a tablespoon to an ounce or more of heroin. Law enforcement authorities have previously estimated that a tablespoon of heroin sells for about $1,000 while an ouce cost about 5,000.

Investigators said that chemical analysis of the heroin confiscated indicated it originated in the so-called "Golden Crescent," a section of southwest Asia, which includes Pakistan, Iran Afghanistan.

The indictment, which was unsealed in part yesterday in U.S. District court, alleges that Bryant directed the heroin distribution conspiracy in the vicinity of 14th and U streets NW and in the area of Columbia and Belmont roads NW.

The grand jury also returned a conspiracy charge against Thomas L. (Dump) Payne, 45, who allegedly supplied Bryant and other coconspirators with quinine, which is used to cut the strength of heroin and is prefered by users because it heightens the effects of the drug. Payne lives at 717 Tuckerman St. NW.

A third man, Earl Tyrone (Bucky) Williams, 30, of 5047 D Street SE was charged by the grand jury with conspiracy.

Bryant was released on a $10,000 security bond yesterday and Payne was freed on a $10,000 unsecured bond. Williams was to appear today in federal court for a bond hearing.