- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2007

A routine traffic stop in the District two years ago has resulted in one of the biggest drug seizures in regional history, law-enforcement officials said yesterday.

“A major pipeline of PCP, one of the most dangerous and destructive drugs on the streets of our community, has been disrupted, thanks to the relentless determination of our federal and local law-enforcement partners and the hard work of our prosecutors,” said U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor.

The investigation resulted in federal indictments for 22 men and four women and search warrants for 20 D.C., Maryland and Virginia properties that uncovered 5½ gallons of PCP, or phencyclidine; a half kilogram of heroin; 17 guns; $355,000 in cash and $145,000 in bank accounts.

“We can hold our heads up high on a day like this,” said Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy L. Lanier, who was joined by officers from the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The leaders of the operation were identified as Lonnell George Glover, 45, of the 4900 block of Brentley Road, in Temple Hills; Anthony “Applejack” Maurice Suggs, 39, of Upper Marlboro; and Velma “Ma” Williams, 59, of St. Louis.

Indictments state that the operation reached into eastern and southern New York, northern Georgia, eastern Missouri and central California. Officials said the leaders arranged for shipments of PCP from across the country to the District, where the 23 other co-defendants handled the distribution.

The traffic stop occurred Aug. 1, 2005, when a D.C. patrolman pulled over a motorist for a traffic violation, then became suspicious and called a detective, said Lt. Jude Waddy, a commander in the 4th Police District.

Officials said the investigation continued and extended without publicity, and suspects were discovered at higher and higher levels of the gang. However, they could not say what prompted the patrolman to make the stop, what caused his suspicion and what evidence prompted further investigation.

The arrests and searches were made Tuesday with about 200 officers from the D.C. department, the FBI, the DEA, the U.S. Marshal Service, the Maryland State Police, the Prince George’s County Police, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and New York law-enforcement agencies.

Jennifer Smith Love, acting director the FBI’s Washington field office, said that the teamwork drove the drug ring out of business and that 10 neighborhoods in the District “are safer places to live, work and visit.”

Chief Lanier also praised residents where drug the operations were conducted. They knew “something was wrong” and cooperated with law enforcement, she said.

“It’s just a matter of everyone working together,” Chief Lanier said. “But we cannot do it without the communities’ help.”

The defendants have nicknames of Smitty, Tony, CoolRidge Bell, Boone, HB, Diamond, Jay, Pumpkin, Head, Juju, Yogi, Fish, Glen, Brother and Nikki.



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