Five adults and five juveniles who allegedly forced a Northwest Baltimore woman out of her home last week and set up a cocaine operation there have been arrested, according to police.
"It was about a $30,000-a-day operation" distributing 1 to 2 kilograms (2.2 to 4.4 pounds) of cocaine a day, said Officer Vernon Robinson of the Northwest District. "That's probably an upper- or mid-level operation for this city."
All five adults and two of the juveniles were charged under Maryland's 2-year-old drug kingpin law, which carries a mandatory prison term of 20 years without parole. The three other juveniles were released to their parents, Officer Robinson said.
The seven were charged with manufacturing and conspiracy to distribute cocaine; possession of a controlled dangerous substance; possession of drug paraphernalia; maintaining a common nuisance; and handgun violations. The adults also were charged with using minors to manufacture narcotics, Officer Robinson said.
The adults are being held without bail at the Baltimore City Detention Center. The two juveniles charged were sent to the Hickey School.
Officer Robinson said police were investigating an unrelated complaint Friday in the 3100 block of Woodland Avenue when a woman asked for help, saying 10 men had taken over her house Monday, thrown her out and refused to let her back in.
The woman, who knew several of the intruders, told police she thought they were manufacturing drugs, the officer said.
Police went to the front and rear of the house, knocked, looked through the mail slot "and white powder came flying out of the slot," Officer Robinson said.
At that point, four or five men ran out the back door while three or four others climbed out upstairs windows and onto the roof.
Most of the cocaine apparently had been discarded, but drug equipment and packaging materials indicated the men had been handling large quantities of cocaine, he said.
The adults charged were LeRoy Scrivner, 18, of the 3100 block of Woodland Avenue; Carlos Heath, 18, of the 2800 block of West Cold Spring Lane; Steven Mack, 18, of the 2700 block of Virginia Avenue; Richard Ell, 51, of the 4700 block of Park Heights Avenue; and Perry Knight, 23, of the 1500 block of Clifton Avenue.