Police worker distributed drugs, attorney says

August 04, 1994|By Alan J. Craver and James M. Coram | Alan J. Craver and James M. Coram,Sun Staff Writers

A defense attorney charged in court papers filed Monday that a county Police Department employee distributed drugs while working as a property room clerk whose duties included handling narcotics in the agency's property room.

Clarke Ahlers of Columbia wants a Howard Circuit Court judge to review police reports of the investigation into the clerk's actions to determine if they should be turned over to him.

Mr. Ahlers said in his request to Judge Cornelius Sybert Jr. that he wants the reports because of questions over the clerk's credibility as a witness in his client's case.

The clerk, Ray Leonardy, has been under investigation since April, when he told his property room supervisor that he gave money to his girlfriend and accompanied her as she bought heroin in Baltimore.

But Mr. Ahlers said in the court papers that Mr. Leonardy distributed heroin and other drugs to the woman and then "misrepresented material facts" to officials at the police department.

"That's news to me," Police Chief James M. Robey said when told of Mr. Ahlers' assertions. "It may turn out to be true. But if it is, I don't know it. The investigation is not finished yet."

Chief Robey said investigators have interviewed two of three witnesses Mr. Ahlers has suggested they speak to for their probe. The department is still attempting to find the third person, the chief said.

Mr. Leonardy, 49, had been assigned to the department's Property and Evidence Bureau since he was hired in April 1989. He was responsible for maintaining the security of narcotics seized as evidence in drug cases.

Mr. Leonardy, who has not been charged with a crime, has since been transferred to the Quartermaster Bureau, which orders and issues department supplies.

Mr. Ahlers went to court last week to get Mr. Leonardy's records from the police investigation for the defense of Gregory P. Williams Sr., 25, of Baltimore.

Mr. Williams was charged with four drug possession charges after his arrest during an April 15 police raid at a Columbia apartment building.

He is scheduled for trial in September.

The defense attorney filed a supplemental request on Monday, adding assertions that Mr. Leonardy distributed drugs.

Assistant State's Attorney Robert Voss asked Judge Sybert to deny Mr. Ahlers' request, saying Mr. Leonardy's records should not be released because they are protected by confidentiality laws.

Judge Sybert is expected to issue a ruling in the case after pre-trial hearings resume on Aug. 17.

Mr. Ahlers said last week he learned of the incident involving Mr. Leonardy when a citizen asked for advice about getting a relative into a drug-rehabilitation program in an unrelated case.

The citizen told Mr. Ahlers that the relative had gotten drugs from Mr. Leonardy.

The attorney said he notified police officials and was told that Mr. Leonardy was being investigated.

Mr. Ahlers said he later learned that Mr. Leonardy was a possible witness in the case against Mr. Williams because he had handled the drugs seized during the raid in Columbia.

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