One of the two women police officers arrested in this week's breakup of a New York-to-Baltimore drug ring that netted nearly $2 million a month was the girlfriend of one of the organization's lieutenants, authorities said.
Officer Monique Hill, 22, who has been on the force since August 1989 and assigned to Southeast District, was arrested at 10:15 p.m. Wednesday at the police Internal Investigation Division while she was at work.
She has been charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin and crack cocaine. Evidence revealed her boyfriend was Kenneth "Dino" Washington, a lieutenant in the alleged drug ring, police said.
Hill's police training academy classmate, Kimberly Peoples, 30, who has been with the force 13 months and was assigned to the Northeast District, was arrested after 8 a.m. yesterday when she reported for work. She also was charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine.
Both officers were being held last night at the Women's Detention Center, waiting to see a court commissioner.
"We don't want to discuss any further their roles at this time," Special Agent Douglas N. Biales of the Drug Enforcement Administration said yesterday. "Both officers did participate in numerous overt acts" of drug distribution.
"As far as we're concerned, they are the only two officers we have knowledge of," Biales said. "I don't think there are any more."
The New York-to-Baltimore drug ring had been in existence for at least a year and netted almost $2 million a month on sales of nearly 5 kilograms of heroin and 10 kilograms of crack cocaine, authorities said.
The arrests came during the execution of 16 search-and-seizure warrants in a drug raid in the city and west Baltimore County Wednesday night and early yesterday.
Dozens of federal Drug Enforcement Agency agents, city police detectives, State Police officers and IRS agents participated in the sweep.
The alleged ringleader, James C. Harris, 35, was arrested at 6:30 a.m. Thursday at his home in the first block of Shadwell Court in Woodlawn, as his 11-month-old daughter lay in bed. She was handed over to the county Department of Social Services.
Harris, a New York native, has been charged under the federal drug kingpin law.
Also arrested and charged during the drug sweeps were Karen Connor, 29, of the 4500 block of Rokeby Road; Moses Norfleet, no age given, of the 500 block of Half Mile Court; Mary Wiggins, no age given, of the first block of Valdivia Court; Clifford Storey, 21, of the 500 block of Half Mile Court; and James Washington, 47, of the first block of Cahill Court.
Others arrested and charged were identified as Pamela Washington, 29, of the 700 block of S. Charles St.; Troy Snead, 19, of the 3400 block of Virginia Ave.; Tracey Lemmel Washington, 28, of the 5800 block of Narcissus Ave.; Robert Scott, 24, of the 500 block of N. Brice St.; Kenneth Washington, 30, of the 900 block of Pennsylvania Ave.; and Brian Washington, of the 2300 block of Annapolis Road.
They have been charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and crack cocaine, authorities said. They were being held at various lockups around the city.
Yesterday's arrests followed a nine-month investigation of the ring, which distributed guns as well as drugs, police said.
Over the course of the investigation, authorities seized $10,000 in cash and 15 weapons, including Uzi submachine guns, Biales said. The weapons are to be taken to the city police ballistics lab for tests to determine if they were used in any crimes, Biales said. Police said they believe the ring is responsible for numerous acts of violence.
Federal laboratory tests found the drugs confiscated during the investigation to be unusually potent, Biales said -- 36 to 86 percent pure. Normally, heroin sold on the street has a 3 percent to 11 percent purity.
"If someone ingested heroin at that level, it basically would kill you," Biales said. "It's a lethal dose of heroin."
Biales said the strength of the ring's heroin attracted buyers, who could cut it themselves and get more for their money.
The investigation began in October 1990 when police received information that New York distributors were muscling in on local drug dealers.
"What they found out was people from New York were intimidating unorganized drug dealers here," Biales said.
As the investigation progressed, investigators were able to identify several members of the alleged drug ring, including Harris, police said.
Police said that over the years Baltimore has become popular with out-of-town heroin dealers.
"Distributors come down here and set up shop, because they know it's profitable," Biales said.