An Australian magistrate ordered the extradition yesterday of two Washington-area men whose arrests last year sparked federal and congressional investigations into alleged drug use by congressmen and Capitol Hill aides.
The two men, Douglas W. Marshall, 27, and Troy M. Todd Jr., 23, left the United States before their indictment last November on charges of running a cocaine distribution ring on Capitol Hill.
Australian police arrested them in a motel near Perth in January but both men have been resisting efforts by U.S. officials to have them extradited.
Sources familiar with the Justice Department's investigation of drug use on the Hill believe that Todd and Marshall, if they cooperate with investigators, might be able to provide substantial information on drug distributors and users.
Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman David Hoover said yesterday that, under Australian law, the men have a right to appeal the ruling. But their attorney in Australia has indicated he would not be filing an appeal, Hoover said.
If no appeal is filed, Hoover said, deputy U.S. marshals and DEA agents will go to Perth to escort Todd and Marshall back to the U.S. He said they could be back in Washington in about three weeks.
Todd, Marshall and a third man, Robert A. Finkel, 29, were arrested at Marshall's home in Northwest Washington last April after they allegedly sold eight ounces of cocaine to an undercover D.C. police officer.
Finkel began cooperating with authorities after the arrest, telling them that a ring supplied cocaine and marijuana to Capitol Hill through a network of aides, according to knowledgeable sources.
Charges against all three men were subsequently dropped in order to allow a grand jury time to investigate the alleged ring, law enforcement sources have said.
According to the November indictment, Todd is alleged to be the main supplier of drugs for the ring. Informed sources have said Marshall, a former congressional page, is being investigated for involvement in drug distribution on the Hill.