Howard police respond to alarm, and it's a bust

November 07, 1990|By Susan Schoenberger

An Elkridge woman whose house alarm sounded Monday returned home to find police waiting -- to arrest her.

Howard County officers charged 55-year-old Lucille Ballard of the 6400 block of Elibank Drive with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, among other charges. They said they found marijuana in plain view when they responded to the alarm call at her home.

Police aren't sure how Ms. Ballard's alarm was activated, but it rang at a private alarm company about 11 a.m., said Sgt. Gary Gardner, a police spokesman. The alarm company contacted police and an officer went to the house, which is reached by a secluded road near Interstate 95.

When the officer arrived, he found two doors open but no signs of forced entry, Sergeant Gardner said. The officer reported that he walked into the house and saw some marijuana and rolling papers on a table in plain view.

The officer left the house and returned with help and a search-and-seizure warrant, Sergeant Gardner said. Ms. Ballard, who had been notified that her alarm was being investigated, also returned to the house.

By the time she arrived, police had discovered a bag of marijuana on a porch table, a paper bag containing marijuana in the freezer and another package in the refrigerator, Sergeant Gardner said.

Officers also found four marijuana plants growing in the woman's garden and, to judge from stalks still in the ground, evidence that 130 other plants had been harvested, police said. In addition, they found scales and other devices used for drug production as well as a small amount of cocaine, police reported.

Ms. Ballard was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute and manufacture marijuana, common nuisance, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, and possession of controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia.

Police said her bad luck rubbed off on a Baltimore couple in a truck that turned in to Ms. Ballard's driveway. The couple tried to turn around when they saw police at the house but were stopped, Sergeant Gardner said.

Police asked if they could search the truck and did so, finding two bags of marijuana stuffed into a child's car seat -- which also contained a child.

The couple, Stephen Vaise, 36, and Christine Vaise, 31, of the 4600 block of Prudence Street, Brooklyn, were charged with possession of marijuana, Sergeant Gardner said.

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