A Calvert County man, accused of acting as a chauffeur in an alleged cocaine conspiracy with Redskin safety Tony Peters and six other men, surrendered to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Alexandria yesterday.
William Howard Burns, Jr., 29, was arraigned yesterday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate W. Curtis Sewell in Alexandria on charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. He was released on his personal recognizance, pending a hearing on Aug. 16.
A complaint filed at U.S. District Court in Alexandria alleges that on July 19, Burns picked up two men who had just sold a pound of cocaine to undercover agents for $34,000 and drove them from a Crystal City hotel to National Airport.
Peters, 30, who recently signed a four-year, $1 million contract with the Redskins, was arrested early Wednesday morning at the team's training camp in Carlisle, Pa. Team officials announced later that he would take leave with pay to devote time to the case.
He is alleged to have accepted $3,000 from a federal undercover agent for helping arrange two cocaine sales earlier this summer.
After his release yesterday, Burns declined to comment on the allegations against him in the complaint. He said he knew only one of the seven other men named in it, Calvert County high school teacher Thomas Peter Shaw Valanidas, 35. Burns said he had worked for Valanidas as a valet.
At his hearing yesterday, Burns said he had previously been convicted in Maryland of harboring a fugitive and receiving stolen goods. At the time of his surrender yesterday, he was on bond granted after a separate cocaine arrest in the District on July 6. Valanidas also had been arrested in that earlier case and released on personal bond.
In Toronto yesterday, a judge ordered the release of another of the alleged conspirators, Charles Joseph Bray, 37, on a $12,000 unsecured bond. A former offensive guard with the Toronto Argonauts, Bray is accused in the complaint in Alexandria of having directed a Canadian undercover agent to Washington to buy cocaine through Peters, whom authorities have identified as Bray's half brother.
Prosecutors here say they intend to seek the extradition of Bray and his brother Douglas, also named as a conspirator in the complaint.
One of the eight men named in the complaint remains at large. He is identified as Jose Cebada, 35, an Argentinian citizen who law enforcement officials said lived in Corona, N.Y.