Complaints by East Baltimore residents led to the arrest last night of an alleged 15-year-old drug dealer, who was nabbed during a police raid with three vials of suspected cocaine in his hand as he walked out of his front door, according to police.
The youth's mother and aunt also were arrested on drug charges -- including the use of a juvenile in the distribution of narcotics.
The raid in the 400 block of East 21st Street occurred at 6:50 p.m. when police officers on a surveillance assignment saw the youth apparently making street sales outside the house. Eight Eastern District narcotics officers who already had obtained a search warrant for the premises took quick action.
Officer Terry Caudill rushed into the front door to grab the youth, who police said was caught by surprise and still holding three vials of cocaine. A further search of the house yielded 170 vials of powdered cocaine and $534 in cash, recovered from several rooms, a safe and a flower pot, police said.
The youth was charged as a juvenile with one count each of distribution, possession, possession with intent to distribute, conspiracy and selling drugs in a drug-free zone. Charged as adults were his mother, Cynthia Jones, 30, of the East 21st Street address, and his aunt, Jacqueline Jones, 33, of the 700 block of Cator Avenue in North Baltimore.
The juvenile was being held overnight at the Charles H. Hickey School in Cub Hill, while the mother and aunt were awaiting bail hearings at the city's Central District women's detention center.
The raid took place near the Barclay Street corridor, which police have identified as one of the city's busiest open-air drug markets.
The area -- along Barclay from 20th Street to 22nd Street -- has been the site of a recent "Adopt-a-Block" campaign where police, residents and local church and civic groups are attempting to wrest control of the streets from dealers.
"We're getting excellent cooperation up there," Officer Ed Bochniak said. "People are calling from up there all the time. I guess they're getting fed up."