Three Prince George's County men were charged yesterday as suspected dealers in a drug ring whose members were picked up in a major sweep against persons accused of distributing between $400,000 and $1 million worth of heroin a week in five cities, including the District.
The arrests by federal authorities are part of a push by the President's Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force, which set up offices in a dozen cities last year to investigate, prosecute and dismantle organized drug-dealing groups, according to U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani, who announced the arrests yesterday.
Federal agents said they arrested members of two different drug rings, whose members sold up to five kilograms a week of 90 percent pure heroin in New York, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, in addition to Washington. The ring in which the Maryland men allegedly were involved as dealers is based in New York City, and allegedly was headed by Francis (Butch) Pugliese of the Bronx, who was also arrested. Yesterday's charges marked the first made by the task force in Manhattan, according to a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office there.
Glenn Sutton, 42, was arrested yesterday at his home in the 9300 block of Edmonston Road, Greenbelt, according to an FBI spokesman. Sutton was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, according to a spokesman in the New York U.S. attorney's office.
Also charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin were Theodore Mingo, of the 200 block of Harry Truman Drive, Largo, and Thomas Morgan, of the 1700 block of Dutch Village Drive, Landover, the FBI said. Authorities were searching for Mingo and Morgan late yesterday, said Assistant U. S. Attorney Rhea Neugarten, chief of Giuliani's narcotics unit.
The three Prince George's men allegedly periodically purchased heroin, in amounts up to an ounce, from a suspected dealer, identified yesterday only as Joe Doe, Neugarten said.
Giuliani told a news conference yesterday that Doe, after his arrest last April, agreed to help in the investigation. He then took part in a number of tape-recorded and video-recorded meetings between agents and suspects, Giuliani said. It was through Doe that authorities learned that Pugliese's organization allegedly sold wholesale quantities of high-quality heroin to street dealers, Giuliani said.
Agents from the FBI and the DEA were seeking a total of 23 suspects in various locations who were charged as part of the two drug rings.