A former Montgomery County police officer and two Frederick County men were indicted by a federal grand jury in Baltimore yesterday on charges they conspired to distribute 200 pounds of marijuana.
Federal undercover agents sold the marijuana to former Montgomery County police officer Franklyn Steven Himes and Ernie Alex Pelino of Thurmont Friday in Annapolis, the indictment alleged. A third man, Lent Hunter of Clinton, allegedly was waiting at a drop-off point, according to the indictment.
The six-count indictment handed down in U.S. District Court in Baltimore says Himes and Pelino gave a federal agent $52,000 in exchange for four 50-pound bales of marijuana.
If convicted, the men could face maximum penalties of five years in jail and $15,000 fines.
The indictment charges that Pelino first contacted the undercover agent, who was posing as a dealer, last January. They allegedly arranged a drug transaction during several subsequent telephone conversations, according to court documents. In June, the agent, whose identity has not been made public, met the three men at the Frederick County airport and then again at the Holiday Inn in Annapolis last week, the indictment states.
After the arrest, federal agents, using search warrants, seized business records and several handguns from the Catoctin Mountain Inn, owned by Pelino, and his home, officials said.
Himes, 33, a three-year veteran of the Montgomery County police, resigned from the force last month. He had also served for eight years on the Frederick County police force.