At least two members of the Baltimore Orioles--second baseman Rich Dauer and relief pitcher Sammy Stewart--have been subpoenaed before a federal grand jury here to testify about alleged cocaine transactions at a suburban Baltimore home, according to law enforcement sources.
The two athletes are among more than a half-dozen persons called by authorities in an investigation of an alleged cocaine distribution network between the Baltimore and Miami, Fla., areas, according to the sources.
Investigators stressed that Dauer and Stewart are not targets of the investigation and that their role as witnesses against one of several alleged cocaine traffickers has been minor.
They are not expected to be charged with any criminal violations.
One well-placed source said at least one additional Oriole player has been named as a possible witness but may not yet have testified. The source would not name the player.
Court records and interviews with investigators indicate Dauer and Stewart are believed to have attended a weekend party at a home in suburban Owings Mills where cocaine was used by some people. "That is not inconsistent with accounts we have" about their involvement, said one investigator.
Orioles General Manager Hank Peters said, "We have no additional comment to make. No Oriole player has been a target of an FBI investigation. The statement of a week ago still stands."
Last week, the FBI in Baltimore and the Orioles issued a joint statement saying no member of the team was a target of an investigation after rumors surfaced that certain players were involved in a cocaine probe.
Dauer and Stewart declined to comment tonight before the game against the California Angels.
"We're taking the field as a team. Nothing that has happened has changed anything for us," said Manager Joe Altobelli.
The Owings Mills home, which does not belong to either Oriole, is one of four in the Baltimore area under surveillance since last winter by FBI agents investigating the alleged Baltimore-Miami network.
Last week, five suspects in the Baltimore area, including Cornell C. Bass, 34, a candidate for the Baltimore City Council, were arrested in connection with the alleged network and charged with conspiracy to violate federal narcotics laws. The charges against Bass were dropped soon after his arrest when he reportedly began cooperating with investigators in the case.
Today, FBI agents in Miami arrested a sixth suspect, Wilfredo Waldo Martinez, 38, naming him a principal operative in the network and charging him with conspiracy, according to Dana E. Caro, special agent in charge of the Baltimore field office of the FBI.
In a 166-page affidavit filed in federal court here by FBI agent David B. Midura and Baltimore City Police Det. Walter Roberts, Bass was named as an "intermediary and courier" between Martinez in Florida and Owings Mills custom T-shirt businessman Gary Kimmel, one of the five suspects arrested here last week.
The affidavit, filed in support of applications to arrest Kimmel, Bass and others, contains lengthy excerpts of wire-tapped telephone conversations. According to a line-by-line analysis by investigators of the often jumbled conversations, Bass refers to Kimmel as his "sales rep" in Owings Mills.
There is no reference to Dauer, Stewart or other baseball players in the affidavit.
In addition to Bass, Kimmel and Martinez, the suspects arrested in the case were identified by the FBI as Michael Lee Bass, 30, of Baltimore, a brother of Cornell Bass; Edgar Allen, 43, of Baltimore, and Debra Ann Garrett, 31, of Towson.