Notorious house raided in Arundel Five arrested

roosters, gear for cockfighting found

September 27, 1996|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County police and two other agencies raided a Severn home yesterday in hopes of shutting down illegal activity at the squalid residence known as a drive-through drug market, a scene for cockfights and a haven for burglars fencing stolen goods.

County animal control officials dragged 42 roosters and hens from numerous shacks and pens around the house in the 8200 block of WB&A Road. Police said they found a 10-by-10-foot cockfighting ring, metal spurs and miniature boxing gloves fashioned for the birds.

They charged resident Oscar Mora, 44, with maintaining a common nuisance to distribute illegal drugs. He was being held at the county Detention Center in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Roy John Whitaker, 47, also of the 8200 block of WB&A Road; James Lee Wiley, 42, of the 500 block of Brightview Drive in Millersville; Angela Louise Dorsey, 38, of the 300 block of Mountain Ridge Court in Glen Burnie; and James Woods, 39, of Waxhah, N.C., also were arrested. All were charged with possession of crack cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The raid was the fourth in eight years on the home -- commonly known as "The Compound." Each raid has resulted in the recovery of a small amount of drugs. This time, however, police say they hope to put an end to illegal business at the house, which they say has been a thorn in their sides for years.

"Our whole goal is just to eliminate this guy," said Officer Bret Ballam, who organized the county agencies and police narcotics and auto theft squads for the 3 a.m. raid.

"He's a problem to the neighborhood, and he's a problem to the community. I think we have enough to substantiate a good nuisance case against him."

Under the county nuisance law, the government is permitted to seize houses and land, force residents to vacate and tear down buildings seized.

Neighbors have complained repeatedly about activity at the house, police said.

"I think the police are going after all the piddly stuff just to get them out of there, said a neighbor who asked to not be identified for fear of retaliation. "If that's what it takes, so be it."

The woman said her father counted 20 cars an hour going in and out of the driveway on Thursday and Friday nights.

The white house sits several yards from the road, hidden by thick woods. Behind it are a large wooden deck and pool overlooking the cluster of wooden shacks and wire pens for more than 50 fighting cocks bred there.

Cocks were in eight of 26 pens in one 50-foot-long shed and more in pens outside, and dogs roamed in other pens.

Beyond that were at least two dozen mating pens for the birds and several smaller pens made of chicken wire.

Inside the house, water dripped from bare pipes lining the ceiling joists in a room that had no light.

A thin blue carpet soaked with water squished under the feet of an officer walking across it, and clothing was piled in a bedroom.

Adjacent to the house is a two-story yellow building with a meticulously crafted shrine on the second floor, where a 5-foot-long mirrored cabinet displayed several statues of Jesus and patron saints, and where fabric flowers were twisted into the shapes of a heart and a cross on the floor.

In a corner atop a wooden stand was a grainy black-and-white photograph of a woman and a vase with carnations over two wreaths, one with the word "Mother" attached with yellow flowers.

A county building inspector declared all of the buildings except the home and a nearby trailer unsafe, excepting them to allow Mora's sick wife, Laura, to make other living arrangements.

"Realistically, the place should be condemned and the people should be out of there," inspector Don Woodrow told Mora

attorney Lloyd Clinton.

Pub Date: 9/27/96

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