Crack cocaine cache uncovered in Crofton couple's Continental

CAR CARRIES CONTRABAND

April 04, 1992|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer

Their nearly new luxury car was perfect until the day the window got stuck.

But when the Crofton couple took the white 1991 Lincoln Continental they had just bought in for repairs, the mechanic discovered a bizarre problem -- the driver's side window was jammed with 306 vials of crack cocaine.

"I took off the door panel, and then I saw that the wiring was jammed up with newspapers," said Ray Marshall, the mechanic at Bert Spriggs Motor Sales in Annapolis, who uncovered the $6,120 worth of cocaine. "I pulled them out, and there it was -- three bags of crack."

Each of the sandwich bags was filled with about 100 perfume vials containing the drug, said Sgt. John Groh of the Annapolis Police Department. Much of the cocaine had crystallized, leading detectives to suspect the drug cache had been hidden in the car for some time.

The couple, whose names were being withheld by police at their request, bought the used Lincoln from a Laurel dealer the first week of March, Sergeant Groh said. They apparently were unwitting victims and at first thought the detective who called to inform them of the stash in their car was playing an April Fools' prank, police said.

Detectives, who are trying to trace the source of the cocaine, suspect the car was seized in a drug raid and auctioned or came from a rental company. Drug dealers frequently conceal cocaine inside door panels, spare tires and even empty car batteries, Sergeant Groh said.

"It sure is unusual, though, for someone to forget $6,000 of cocaine in their hiding spot," said Annapolis Lt. Russell Hall.

The couple brought the Lincoln in Tuesday afternoon when the power window got stuck halfway, Mr. Marshall said. The packages had shifted and tangled with the wiring. "It's about the last thing I expected to find," he said.

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