D.C. police have seized cocaine and heroin worth more than $650,000 following the arrest of a 30-year-old woman they allege was a "major link" in a drug distribution chain stretching from here to South America, according to police officials and documents filed in U.S. District Court here.
The suspect, identified as Ida C. Stanford of 1400 Fairmont St. NW, was arrested about noon Monday near 16th and Euclid streets NW after a police informant had arranged to meet her there to buy two ounces of cocaine, according to court documents.
Stanford, court records say, is a Panamanian who has lived here eight years and works for the National Bank of Washington. She was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and was ordered held without bond after arraignment Tuesday, police said.
According to Capt. Thomas Hammett, commander of the organized crime branch of the D.C. police's Intelligence Division, Stanford's arrest stemmed from a continuing investigation of refugees who came to the United States in the 1980 boatlift from Mariel, Cuba. He said that about 500 Cubans from the massive emigration have been arrested on drug and other criminal charges in the District since 1980.
Hammett declined to provide any details about the extent of the alleged drug network, except to say that South America was the source of the drugs and that there were distribution outlets here.
According to court documents, a police informant arranged by telephone to meet Stanford Monday at 16th and Euclid to buy two ounces of cocaine for $3,600. When Stanford arrived, she was arrested and police found the cocaine in her purse, the documents say.
Police obtained a D.C. Superior Court search warrant for Stanford's home and confiscated an additional four ounces of cocaine, seven ounces of brown heroin, two fully loaded handguns and various drug paraphernalia, according to court documents.
Also seized in the search were slips noting "numerous narcotic transactions by amount and price," as well as other financial documents, the court records state.
A search warrant was also ordered for a safety deposit box in Stanford's name at the 401 M St. SW branch of the National Bank of Washington, but nothing was found, the documents say.