Cupid carried handcuffs in Anne Arundel County last night, as narcotics detectives used flower and candy deliveries as a ploy to serve arrest warrants.
Detectives made at least six arrests for drug possession and distribution, carrying a fake bouquet of flowers wrapped in genuine "FTD" florist paper -- and handcuffs inside a heart-shaped candy box.
Among the recipients, only one was suspicious.
"Who, me?" Robert Russ III, 21, responded when he answered the door before quickly slamming it shut. When the police knocked again, a young woman answered and insisted that Mr. Russ was not at home.
The lawmen called in their backup officers -- three hiding in the plain white delivery van and two others in patrol cars nearby -- to surround the house in the 100 block of Arundel Avenue in Severna Park.
They found an unlocked back door, entered and had begun to search the house when Mr. Russ walked out and surrendered.
Suspects not home were left poetic calling cards informing them of "a floral surprise to catch your eye" and "a gift from the heart, a true work of art" that awaited them.
To receive "a stunning bouquet to change your day," they merely had to call a telephone number printed on the card -- not realizing it was dial-a-detective.
"Hi, I'm Trent Wilson. You all have a delivery for me," said one suspect, calling the officers' cellular telephone number. Detective John Brown assured him, "We'll send the van right over."
And for Trenton E. Wilson, 19, of the 1200 block of Marda Lane in Annapolis, the chains of love meant a trip to the County Detention Center.
Pamela Hause, 21, grinned at the apparent gift from the doorway of her family's home in the 8300 block of Hilda Avenue in Pasadena -- until Detectives Paul Tolle and Tom McFarland identified themselves and said she was under arrest.
"Uhhh, Mom! It's the cops!" she shouted back into the house. "They say they have a warrant for me."
Also arrested on drug charges were Dennis Day, 44, of the 800 block of Brook Court and Leroy Milton Jr., 19, of the 200 block of Gross Avenue, both in Annapolis, and James Hicks, 37, of the 7700 block of Central Avenue, Pasadena.
"It just goes to prove not everyone is who they appear to be," said Sgt. Dennis O'Toole, the squad's supervisor, who orchestrated the deliveries from the back of the van.