County police confiscated 53 bags of heroin and arrested seven people yesterday while breaking up a heroin ring that operated out of a Pasadena home.
Narcotics investigators raided the home, in the 8500 block of Main Avenue, about 1:30 a.m. The bags of heroin were found in two bedrooms.
Sgt. Dennis O'Toole said the size of the bust corresponds with reports from the FBI and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration showing an increase in heroin use nationally.
"This really fits the profile," he said. "This is really the first time we have seen anything like this here."
O'Toole said he can't remember the last large heroin bust in Anne Arundel County. Police statistics show that only one gram of heroin has been seized in the county during the last nine years. Crack-cocaine is the drug of choice in the county as well as nationally, with county police seizing 133 grams during the first half of the year.
The seven adults arrested appear to be a nomadic band of thieves, O'Toole said, which traveled from here to New York, where they bought the heroin.
In addition to confiscating the drug, which had a street value of $1,650, police also seized suspected stolen property ranging from evening gowns and Bart Simpson T-shirts to expensive glass figurines, all with price tags still attached.
Included in the seized property was a video camera reported stolen in York, Pa., and a pair of binoculars from Nevada.
The ring made two trips to New York City in September, purchasing $23,000 worth of heroin, O'Toole said.
"These people are the receivers of stolen goods," he said. "They pawn the property off."
He said heroin addicts typically will trade property for drugs. "That's the traditional method we saw in the '60s," O'Toole said.
Charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin were: Ina Mae Hester, 61, of the 8500 block Carmello Drive in Baltimore; Ronald Stevens, 21, also known as Robert Lee King, of the 8500 block Main Avenue in Pasadena, who also has an address in Portland, Ore.; and Lillian Michelle Bowings, 24, Tracy Rina Mitchell, 24, Cathy Stevens, 27, Eli Mitchell, 28, and Robert Mitchell, 35, all of the 8500 block Maine Avenue in Pasadena.
O'Toole said investigators were tipped off to the operation by an informant they had picked up earlier in the day on other outstanding warrants.