State, county authorities bust suspected cocaine operations

January 16, 1993|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Staff Writer

State police and Harford County authorities raided two alleged cocaine operations early yesterday, one of which they linked to a slaying and a pipe bombing in a battle with Detroit drug dealers for the lucrative U.S. 40 corridor.

"These are big fish," said Maj. John Cook of the state police Drug Enforcement Bureau. "They were driving much of the crimes of violence that were occurring in Harford County."

At a noon news conference yesterday at state police headquarters in Pikesville, Major Cook, Harford County Sheriff Robert E. Comes and members of the Harford County Joint Narcotics Task Force displayed suspected cocaine packaged in plastic bags and vials, guns, scales, an adding machine, a bulletproof vest, and gold-nugget jewelry and other drug paraphernalia seized in the raids.

One of the rings was based in Baltimore, the other in Edgewood.

Major Cook said police were especially concerned about a typed list of police radio frequencies and special, flat-headed bullets found during the raids. The bullets explode with a shock effect that can kill an officer, even in a bulletproof vest.

"They've been expecting us," Major Cook said of the list.

Malcolm Jerome Glenn, 22, of the 1700 block of Horseshoe Lane in Harford County's Edgewater Village, was arrested at 5 a.m. and charged under the state's drug kingpin statute. Police said they found a shotgun and two handguns at Mr. Glenn's home.

Police also searched a house in the 1600 block of W. Saratoga St. in Baltimore, seizing 51 bags of what police believed to be crack cocaine and a bulletproof vest. In addition, officers searched two other houses in Edgewood. At those houses, located in the 600 block of Lake Ave. and the 1100 block of Windy Branch Road, they found only suspected cocaine residue.

Deirdra Wautina Christy, of Aberdeen, was arrested at the Lake Avenue house on two warrants charging her with possession of cocaine.

The 14-month investigation was sparked by the arrests of several of the operation's drug couriers along Interstate 95. Detectives identified Mr. Glenn as the major supplier of cocaine in Harford County for the past two years, Major Cook said.

While investigating Mr. Glenn, police learned of another drug ring operating primarily in Baltimore but also in Harford and Baltimore counties.

In that investigation, police arrested Elizabeth G. Briggs, 44, of the 6100 block of St. Regis Road in Baltimore County, and seized $2,200 in cash, gold jewelry, a handgun, and two all-terrain vehicles. Mrs. Briggs was held on $500,000 bail on six charges, including conspiracy, distribution and possession of cocaine, said Sgt. Gregory M. Shipley, state police spokesman.

Two of her sons, Rickey Briggs, 24, and Timmy Lee Briggs, 21, both of the 4900 block of Gunther Ave., are being sought on drug kingpin charges, Sergeant Shipley said. Neither was home when the police raided their house and found 51 vials of what the officers allege was cocaine and gold jewelry.

Police also raided a suspected "stash house" for the Briggs operation in the 800 block of Madison Ave. in Baltimore. They found $400, a handgun, and 1 1/2 pounds of suspected high-quality cocaine valued at about $1 million. Robert L. Bacote, 47, was arrested at the Madison Avenue apartment and charged as a drug kingpin.

An undercover officer said the two alleged operations had only slight connections, such as overlaping customers, or helping each other with an emergency supply of drugs if one's supply was short.

Investigators also developed leads to several unsolved crimes in Harford County, Major Cook said. The crimes include three drive-by shootings. One victim was a Baltimore man who refused to talk to police about the incident in August. Two were 18-year-olds from Havre de Grace who were attacked on Dec. 30, 1991. One of the youths, John Wesley Johnson, died of his wounds five days later.

At 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 9, 1991, a pipe bomb extensively damaged Mr. Glenn's 1988 Jeep in what police believe was a drug dispute, said Chief Deputy Thomas P. Broumel. No charges have been filed in these cases.

The investigation of Mr. Glenn indicated the shootings and bombing were part of a turf battle with drug suppliers from Detroit, he said.

"It took us to Philadelphia, New York, then it took us to Detroit, as the major cities where the drugs were coming from," said Chief Broumel.

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