Officials at the FBI field office in Baltimore said yesterday they have arrested four persons in Maryland and Northern Virginia alleged to be involved in a ring that has smuggled cocaine from South America.

According to the FBI, a joint investigation over several months involving agents in Baltimore, Washington and Alexandria, plus the U.S. Customs Service, led to the seizure of three kilos of high-quality cocaine on Dec. 20 at a residence in Lanham. Special agent Dana E. Caro said the drugs had an estimated street value of $1.5 million and said much of the cocaine is believed to have been smuggled into the United States on commercial airlines in sealed aluminum cans bearing a Bolivian beer label.

Yesterday agents arrested Martin Ralph Errera, 58, of the 7100 block of Presley Road, Falls Church; Arturo Jose Palacios, 30, of the 3100 block of Glen Carlyn Road, Falls Church; James B. Palacios, 27, of the 3700 block of S. George Mason Drive, Falls Church, and Willie Gore, 53, of the 1100 block of Port Echo Lane, Bowie.

All of the men are charged with conspiracy and possession of narcotics with intent to distribute. They were being held overnight in local jails and are scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate today.