Drug dealer on parole surrenders amid claims officer protected him Suspect is being held without bail on two gun possession charges

April 04, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A convicted drug dealer who police say is running a cocaine organization linked to more than a dozen shootings and slayings in East Baltimore surrendered yesterday amid charges that he was being protected by a city police officer.

Anthony Jones, 23, was ordered held without bail on two gun possession charges resulting from arrests in February and in 1993. At his bail hearing in U.S. District Court, officials outlined a slew of gun charges that previously had been dropped by city prosecutors, raising concerns by city police.

Officials also said at the hearing that Mr. Jones' alleged drug organization is under investigation.

Court papers filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court accuse Mr. Jones of conspiring to have an alleged rival, Elway Williams, kidnapped by having him falsely arrested and turned over to Mr. Jones. Prosecutors said they plan to seek kidnapping charges against Mr. Jones.

The police officer accused of aiding Mr. Jones, Erick McCrary, 30, resigned after he was arrested Friday. He has been charged with bribery and witness tampering, and is being held without bail.

On Tuesday, police arrested Mr. Williams, 29, and charged him with selling heroin.

U.S. Magistrate Paul M. Rosenberg said at Mr. Jones' bail hearing that "one can only assume that the kidnapping was for the purpose of an execution or to inflict substantial harm to the individual."

At the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Manuelian said that the Jones and Williams groups frequently battled on city streets. "There are a number of murders that have been allegedly linked to both organizations," she said.

At a news conference yesterday morning, U.S. Attorney Lynne A. Battaglia and Baltimore Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier said they were ashamed to have a city police officer suspected of being linked to such a violent organization.

"This is a case that I think outrages all of us," Mr. Frazier said. "A police officer was working with Anthony Jones' drug organization and offered another Baltimore city police officer a $5,000 bribe to change his testimony in a gun charge."

But Mr. McCrary's lawyer, former federal prosecutor Paul R. Kramer, said the officer disputes the charges. Mr. Kramer argued in court Monday that the officer was a victim of entrapment and had used Mr. Jones as an informant.

"My argument is that it is not quite as clear-cut," Mr. Kramer said. "There is no evidence that McCrary took any money." Prosecutors claim that Mr. McCrary was a middleman between FTC Mr. Jones and the officer who arrested him in February -- who later went to work undercover.

Mr. Jones, who was arrested in 1991 at age 17, April 1993, according to his arrest record.

At yesterday's court hearing, officials read Mr. Jones' lengthy arrest record, which includes 10 arrests since 1990 on gun, drug and assault charges. He was charged with murder two years ago. All the charges, except for the conspiracy charge from 1991 and the two gun charges he now faces, have been dropped.

Mr. Frazier said he has made it a priority not to drop gun charges. "Those are the cases we want to keep in the system," he said.

"The fact that gun cases didn't stay in the system was a concern to me," he said.

But Mr. Jones' lawyer, Paul Palanski, said his client had been hit repeatedly with "ridiculously bad charges." He said the murder charge resulted from police finding a gun in a brother's bedroom.

"There is a reason these cases were dropped -- they were bad arrests," Mr. Palanski said.

Pub Date: 4/04/96

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