Sonar nightclub owner sentenced to 10 years in $14.5 million marijuana operation

The owner of Baltimore's Sonar nightclub was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for his role in supervising a drug dealing and money laundering operation, federal prosecutors announced.

Daniel Gerard McIntosh, 38, of Sparks, was part of a large drug operation busted by the Drug Enforcement Agency when it seized more than 80 pounds of marijuana and $30,000 in cash from the group's headquarters in the 3500 block of Hickory Ave., in Hampden. The agency also found 30 cell phones, documentation of a plane purchased for $450,000, books showing more than $14.5 million in marijuana sales, money counters and fake IDs in the sting.

That evidence was presented at a seven-week trial, during which prosecutors said McIntosh orchestrated and received large shipments of marijuana from California to distribute to local dealers in the Baltimore area since 2006.

One witness during the trial said Philip Parker, who was recruited by McIntosh in June 2008 to drive marijuana in the back of his tractor trailer, often carried between 300 and 600 pounds in each trip.

Federal prosecutors said when McIntosh bought the downtown club in the 400 block of E. Saratoga St., he and his co-conspirators laundered thousands of dollars into it to keep it afloat. He also provided employment verification for a co-conspirator who was on parole in 2008, prosecutors said.

A dozen defendants have been convicted in the operation, and charges are pending against three others suspected of leading the organization — David D'Amico, 49, of Baltimore; Matthew Nicka, 43, of Baltimore; and Gretchen Peterson, 34, of Kennett Square, Penn.

All three were fugitives since the indictment was returned in December 2010, prosecutors said. Nicka and Peterson, who are married, were arrested in Canada in early August 2013. D'Amico is pending extradition from Colombia, South America.

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