A Prince George's County nightclub where police seized more than $61,000 and arrested four people on drug charges Saturday night is in a building owned by state Sen. Thomas P. O'Reilly (D-Prince George's).
O'Reilly, who has owned the building and land in Brentwood where the Stingray nightclub is located since 1980, said yesterday that he "was absolutely and totally shocked and outraged" when he learned about the drug arrests. He said he knew there had been complaints of drug dealing around the property, but that he had believed assurances from club owner Joseph Compofelice that there was no such activity inside the bar.
At the Camp Springs home of Compofelice, police found $56,000 and 139 grams of cocaine with a street value of $27,000. Compofelice, 42, who was charged with distribution of cocaine, and three other people, including one who was charged with possession of PCP, were arrested at the nightclub, police said.
Police said yesterday that O'Reilly is not a target of the investigation that led to the arrests at Stingray.
"I haven't been inside the place since 1984," O'Reilly said. Compofelice "is just a tenant, and I have nothing to do with him," he said.
O'Reilly said that neither he nor his wife, Barbara O'Reilly, is involved in the management of the club, although his wife is listed on incorporation records as a co-owner with Compofelice and Bowie businessman James Wilson. O'Reilly said his wife has maintained a 1 percent ownership to prevent Wilson and Compofelice from transferring the liquor license to another property.
Brentwood Mayor George Denny Jr. said yesterday that he has written the Liquor Control Board to ask them to reconsider the license renewal they granted to the Stingray nightclub last month.
The nightclub on 38th Avenue has been plagued by community complaints for several years, and through the changes of name and ownership. Nearly 400 Brentwood residents organized a petition drive in 1986 to oppose the renewal of the liquor license when the bar was known as Judge Roy Bean's and owned by Michael Tiberio. The residents complained then, and more recently, of screeching tires, drunken patrons, violent fights and litter.
O'Reilly said he is sympathetic to the community's complaints, but that his chief concern is meeting mortgage payments on the land and building.