Undercover police raid results in arrests of 12 suspected drug dealers 36 indictments issued

bail totals $6.7 million

October 04, 1997|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

An undercover police operation in the Patterson Park area, identified as a "hot spot" of drug activity, resulted in the arrests of 12 suspected drug dealers yesterday, six of them juveniles.

Maj. Timothy Longo of the Southeast District said it was the first targeted initiative in one of the city's six so-called "hot spots," designated in July by the state's office of crime control and prevention as a geographic area where crime is concentrated.

Longo said that 36 criminal indictments in sales of narcotics to undercover officers were prepared with pre-set bails totaling $6.7 million, and that special squads scouted the streets to arrest the suspects during an all-day operation.

The six adults arrested were Dante Servance, 20, of the 2200 block of Jefferson St.; Andre Stewart, 41, of the 100 block of Patterson Park Ave; Phillip Johnson, 18, of the 1100 block of N. Milton Ave.; Thomas Johnson, 22, of the first block of N. Linwood Ave.; Raynard Bradley, 21, of the 4900 block of Aberdeen Ave.; and Adrian Wood, 34, of the 2600 block of Waverly Way.

The six juveniles are between the ages of 13 and 17.

Three of the 36 named in the indictments were already in police custody in other offenses, leaving 21 suspects at large late yesterday.

Longo described the operation as a roundup of suspected "street nuisance" dealers. Police said the two most important arrests were Thomas Johnson, held in lieu of $1.5 million bail because of a long record, and Phillip Johnson, described by Longo as an "absolute public nuisance" in the neighborhood of Ellwood Park. They are not related.

Thirteen plainclothes officers conducted the raid, aided by uniformed officers.

Yesterday was chosen for the raid because it was the first Friday of the month, said Lt. George Klein. "There's check money on the street," he told officers during a morning briefing.

At noon, the officers hit the streets.

Arrests were made peacefully and surprised most of the suspects. Stewart was arrested at Montford Avenue and Jefferson Street. Servance was sitting on the steps outside his home when police passing by asked his name. When he replied, "Dante," they circled the block and returned to handcuff him and take him to central booking.

His family watched the arrest, and a woman yelled "I love you, Dante," as he was taken away.

Bradley was driving when he was detained by an officer, who recognized him in his rearview mirror. "I thought, that looks too much like him not to check him out," said Officer Duane Jefferson.

Pub Date: 10/04/97

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