10 arrested in raids in Armistead Gardens Police aim to break up teen drug ring

March 22, 1997|By Peter Hermann and Cheryl L. Tan | Peter Hermann and Cheryl L. Tan,SUN STAFF

More than 150 police officers swept through Armistead Gardens in Northeast Baltimore yesterday afternoon hoping to break up a ring of teen-age drug dealers who they said were relatives and friends of another drug gang busted eight months ago.

"I stood here on this very corner and watched the cops arrest the older brothers of the people we are locking up today," said police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier, standing at Quantril Way and Harper Way. "We are going to keep coming back here until this behavior stops."

Police raided 13 houses in the Northeast Baltimore community, including five houses along two blocks of Quantril Way. Residents stood in narrow alley streets, most applauding the officers as they led handcuffed youngsters into the back of police vans.

"I have a 6-year-old daughter and we'll come down and walk around here and you see them hanging out, selling drugs on the street and she says, 'No, Mom, I don't want to walk down here. Let's go home, let's go home,' " said Bonnie Poore, 29.

Police arrested seven adults and three juveniles -- a 14-year-old and two 16-year-olds -- and were looking for another 16-year-old last night. All were charged with drug distribution. Police said they seized 12 rifles, two handguns, 23 small bags of suspected cocaine and about $2,000.

Lt. Paul B. Sheppard said police broke up a drug ring last year; the ringleader is serving a 10-year sentence. But the younger friends and relatives of those previously arrested apparently took up the trade.

Sheppard said the group was hard to infiltrate because the customers were from the community. "They didn't sell to anyone they didn't know," he said.

Pub Date: 3/22/97

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