City couple plead guilty to cocaine charges


A southwest Baltimore couple have pleaded guilty to federa drug charges for distributing cocaine here for a Philadelphia-fed drug ring operated by a Halethorpe mechanic and an Arbutus lawyer.

Karen Nelson, 35, and her husband Glenn, 31, both of the 600 block of Wickham Road, entered their pleas Friday to Judge John R. Hargrove in U.S. District Court. Glenn Nelson works in the Baltimore Sun's transportation department.

Prosecutor Andrew G.W. Norman said Karen Nelson, assisted by her husband, distributed between five and 49.5 kilograms of cocaine in the Baltimore area from July 1988 to March 1989. She faces a minimum, mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison without parole.

Glenn Nelson pleaded guilty to distributing more than half a kilogram of cocaine. He faces at least five years' imprisonment without parole.

Hargrove set sentencing for June 21.

The Nelsons obtained cocaine from Ronald J. Fisher, the mechanic, who bought it from Ramon Torres and Henry Figueroa in Philadelphia and sold it here through a drug ring that included his twin sons. Warren E. Rollman, the Arbutus lawyer, served as Fisher's collection agent and money-launderer.

Karen Nelson distributed much of the cocaine she got from Fisher, and independently from the Philadelphia sources, to Michael Vogel, a former owner of the World Gym in Eastpoint.

Rollman laundered at least $215,000 in drug money for Fisher and the Nelsons, Norman said. The lawyer, now serving five years in prison, later worked undercover for the government in a gambling-extortion case that was prosecuted last year. Fisher was also convicted on drug charges.

Vogel is serving a 16-year, no-parole prison term for selling cocaine to former Baltimore police officer William F. Kincaid Jr, who also was convicted here, and other local drug dealers. Torres and Figueroa were convicted of federal drug charges in Philadelphia.

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