Federal agents looking for marked food stamps that an undercover investigator sold to alleged associates of Maryland State Sen. Tommie Broadwater Jr. found none in a search early this month of Broadwater's home and businesses. The agents did seize a variety of financial records, cash, weapons, suspected marijuana and other items, court documents show.
The search was conducted March 6 as Broadwater was being arrested on charges of laundering $70,000 in illegally obtained food stamps through his Chapel Oaks Farmers Market. Broadwater, a two-term member of the Maryland Senate, has denied the charges. Broadwater said yesterday that the guns, alleged marijuana and most of the cash were taken from his two children's bedrooms and have since been offered back as unrelated to the case.
"They agents just want me to look bad," he said, "letting everybody think the guns and the cash and the pot are mine."
The search turned up two pistols, a 16-gauge shotgun, a .22 rifle, a BB gun, ammunition, $8,343 in cash, bank records and cash register receipts, according to inventory lists filed by U.S. Secret Service and Agriculture Department agents in federal court here.
The list also included "one Lacoste green shirt with Hecht Co. security tag attached" and a film canister containing a substance "believed to be marijuana," court records said.
None of an estimated $46,050 in marked food stamps involved in the undercover operation was found at any of Broadwater's properties, the Secret Service said. More than $11,000 of the total was recovered from the Federal Reserve Board in Baltimore after the stamps were endorsed by Broadwater's market and processed through his bank.
Broadwater, 41, said yesterday that his son, Tommie III, owns the guns and "goes hunting," his daughter, Jacqueline, has saved $7,000 to buy a car, and that, "I don't smoke marijuana . . . . Nobody in my family smokes marijuana."
Broadwater and three other men are charged with buying illegally obtained food stamps for about 40 percent of their face value and redeeming them through Broadwater's supermarket. All four denied the charges.
The Secret Service said in court records that an undercover agent sold $46,050 in marked stamps on three occasions to suspects Jack Quigley Jr. and his father, Jack Sr., at a Washington funeral home. Agents observed a third suspect, taxi driver William Dudley, leave the funeral home with a paper bag and drive to either Broadwater's home or market and go inside, the records said.