Police arrest 7 in raids, seize drugs, cash, gun

September 10, 1997|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Police completed a two-month drug investigation yesterday by raiding 12 rowhouses in an effort to shut down cocaine and heroin sales in three West Baltimore neighborhoods hit hard by violence.

Southwestern District officers targeting Walbrook, Winchester and Rosemont arrested seven people yesterday on drug charges and said they seized $4,500 in drugs, $4,200 in cash and one gun.

The raids were the most recent conducted in the past two months, in which police have raided 10 other houses in the West Baltimore communities. Previous raids have resulted in the arrest of 162 people on drug charges, and the seizure of $58,000 in drugs, 26 guns and 26 cars.

Yesterday's raids were dubbed "Operation Defenders' Day," in honor of the Sept. 12 holiday honoring the defense of Fort McHenry during the 1814 Battle of Baltimore, which inspired the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"We're at war with drugs and guns," said Maj. Gary Lembach, commander of the Southwestern District.

Police said their investigation led them to Southeast Baltimore, where they said they arrested a high-level drug dealer in the first block of N. Decker St. and seized 31 ounces of pure cocaine and a 9 mm handgun.

Lembach said the drugs were packaged on Decker Street and sold on street corners in West Baltimore. He said that police arrested many people who live in suburban Baltimore and who were driving into the city to buy drugs.

The three communities targeted yesterday have experienced 33 armed robberies and 13 shootings this year. "We just have to keep making resurgent strikes," Lembach said.

Pub Date: 9/10/97

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