The alleged leader of a multi-million-dollar Washington area heroin distribution ring, who had been sought by federal authorities since his indictment last week, turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation yesterday at a local television studio.

Isaac J. Tindle, 41, of Clinton, was one of 14 people indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Baltimore on charges of operating the alleged ring.

In a brief hearing before a federal magistrate here, Tindle, who was charged with conspiracy, four counts of distributing heroin and using the telephone to distribute heroin, was ordered transferred to Baltimore, where he is scheduled to be arraigned today. His bond was set at $20 million when he was indicted.

Tindle entered no plea yesterday, but has the opportunity to do so at the arraignment. Tindle's attorney, John Mercer, said Tindle will plead not guilty to all charges.

Mercer said Tindle called him Sunday night saying he wanted to turn himself in but wanted to do so in public. "He was very concerned," Mercer said, about "statements issued to the press that he was a dangerous person." Mercer said Tindle was afraid to turn himself in without witnesses present.

Mercer said he called WJLA-TV reporter Jim Berry and told him Tindle wanted to give up. Tindle and Mercer arrived at the WJLA studios shortly before midnight, Berry said.

Baltimore assistant U.S. Attorney Ty Cobb said Tindle faces a maximum of 158 years in prison if convicted of all counts.

In addition to the criminal charges, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service seized Tindle's home and another residence to satisfy $3.6 million in liens filed against him for unpaid taxes.