A former Canadian football player, identified as the half-brother of Redskin safety Tony Peters, has been arrested in Toronto on charges that he conspired with Peters and six other men to sell cocaine in Northern Virginia.
Charles Joseph Bray, 37, a one-time offensive guard with the Toronto Argonauts who now runs a health club in Toronto, was arrested without incident at his home there Wednesday afternoon, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said yesterday.
Peters, 30, was arrested by federal agents at the Redskins' training camp in Carlisle, Pa., early Wednesday and charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.
In the fall of 1982, Bray allegedly told a Canadian undercover agent posing as a drug buyer that Peters could introduce him to a drug supplier, but that a meeting would have to be delayed until after the football season, according to Constable Brent Renouf of the RCMP Toronto drug unit.
The postponements allegedly continued as the Redskins moved toward eventual victory in the Super Bowl, followed by post-season engagements and Peters' play in the National Football Conference's pro bowl, Renouf said yesterday. According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Peters and the Canadian undercover agent first met in June.
Bray's brother Douglas, also named in the complaint, has been in custody in Toronto on an armed robbery charge, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
A four-year veteran of the Redskins, Peters turned in his best performance on the field last season and was a key player in the defensive line-up that helped propel the Redskins to a Super Bowl victory.
After his arrest Wednesday, Peters, who has a $1 million contract over the next four years, took a leave of absence with pay to work on his legal case. If convicted, Peters would face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine or both.
Peters is accused of having taken $3,000 from a Drug Enforcement Administration undercover agent in return for helping set up two cocaine sales in Northern Virginia earlier this summer.
In 1971, Bray played offensive guard for the Argonauts team, which, led by Joe Theismann as quarterback, made it to the Grey Cup, Canada's equivalent of the Super Bowl. However, the team lost. Bray has also played with the Toronto Rifles, a minor league team.
Bray's health club, the Toronto All Sports Association, supplies bouncers to local bars there and until last week, Bray worked as a bouncer in a west Toronto bar. A colorful figure in Toronto sports and night life, the 275 pound Bray sponsored sporting events and promoted minor league hockey teams.
Thomas Peter Shaw Valanidas, a $17,000-a-year high school teacher in Calvert County, was also arrested Wednesday and charged along with Peters and the six other men with conspiracy.
Valanidas, 35, had been released on personal bond after another arrest in Washington last July 6, along with three other men, on cocaine distribution charges in another DEA undercover drug operation. Following his rearrest Wednesday, Valanidas posted a $50,000 bond.
One of the men arrested with Valanidas on July 6, William H. Burns, was also named in the Northern Virginia complaint in which Peters and the others were named. Burns, 29, who once described himself as Valanidas' valet, is still being sought by authorities.
Officers who went to Burns' parents' house in Drum Point, Md., where he had been ordered to stay as a condition of bond after the July arrest, were not able to find him. In addition to Burns, officials are seeking Jose Cebada, an Argentinian who lives in New York, in connection with the complaint filed Wednesday in Alexandria.
The DEA's first arrests in the Northern Virginia conspiracy case occurred Tuesday night in the Hospitality House Motor Inn in Crystal City. There undercover agents arrested Ronald Kirby Wood of Capitol Heights and Jorge Alberto Robert of Miami, after the agents bought 2.5 pounds of cocaine for $64,000.
The complaint filed in federal court in Alexandria alleged that Peters had introduced agents to Wood, who is now in custody.