Essex woman evicted under new 72-hour law Statute designed to oust drug dealers BALTIMORE COUNTY

February 10, 1993|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

A 29-year-old Essex woman, already jailed while awaiting trial on drug charges, has become the second Baltimore County resident evicted from an apartment under a "72-hour" law designed to rid neighborhoods of small-scale drug dealers.

Karen Denise Holliday of the 1600 block Gail Road has been in the county Detention Center since her arrest Jan. 13. But Assistant County Attorney Edward F. Seibert said the civil eviction was the only quick way to reclaim her apartment, which had been leased through January 1994.

Ms. Holliday's two young daughters, 7 and 10, were taken by Baltimore County Social Services Department at time of her arrest, Mr. Seibert said.

The 1991 law allows community associations, prosecutors or county attorneys to ask a court for an eviction within 72 hours if they can show that a property is being used for illegal drug activity.

Since July the county has sought quick evictions in three cases. In the first case, a 24-year-old suspected drug dealer was evicted, but the county lost its second attempt in November, when it sought to evict a pregnant, 23-year-old Dundalk woman and her four children.

In that case, Judge Barbara A. Jung refused the eviction request because the apartment management had already obtained an eviction order and because police couldn't directly link the woman with the drugs sold from her apartment.

In this latest case, undercover detectives allegedly bought crack cocaine on two occasions from people using Ms. Holliday's apartment. In the first instance, the officers reported that Ms. Holliday led them to her home after encountering them on the street.

Inside, they found four other people in the process of dividing the cocaine into packages for sale. They seized 29 plastic bags of suspected cocaine and $220 in cash and arrested two men and two women, all now awaiting trial. At that time, Ms. Holliday was not arrested.

A different set of undercover detectives returned Jan. 13 and bought $40 worth of suspected crack cocaine. This time they did arrest Ms. Holliday on charges of possession and possession with intent to distribute. She is now being held in lieu of $57,500 bail.

Essex District Judge Patricia S. Pytash issued the eviction order after a hearing Friday. Yesterday she said the case "was very clean-cut. The county followed the dictates of the law."

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