DEA agents are honored for work in E. Baltimore City police also recognized for aiding drug probe

October 10, 1997|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

During the past five months, federal drug agents have been working with Baltimore police to shut down open-air drug markets on the city's east side, seizing 1,400 grams of cocaine, two vehicles and several weapons.

Members of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Mobile Enforcement Team were honored for their work with Baltimore's Eastern District by Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier yesterday during a brief ceremony at police headquarters downtown. Eleven special agents and three of their supervisors traveled from Washington, where MET is based, to receive certificates of appreciation.

Baltimore police Sgt. David C. Cheuvront II and Detectives Keith A. Gladstone and William R. Knoerlein were also honored yesterday, by the U.S. Department of Justice, for their work in the investigation. The Eastern District also received a certificate from the Justice Department.

"We asked the MET team to come to Baltimore because the drugs and the street violence were issues we were having difficulty dealing with, both in terms of volume and the fact that our officers are known to the offenders," Frazier said. "The work the [federal] agents did here was outstanding. I could go on and on about what they helped us accomplish, but the numbers speak for themselves."

During the joint investigation, federal agents and local police made 26 undercover drug buys, executed 13 search warrants and arrested 81 people, said Maj. Wendell M. France, commander of the Eastern District. In addition, two bulletproof vests, two vehicles, $12,000 in cash, 11 weapons and more than 1,400 grams of cocaine were seized, he said.

Since its inception in 1995, MET has helped local authorities in Washington and five cities in Virginia conduct undercover drug investigations, according to Frank S. Franco, group supervisor for MET.

"The federal agents bring in expertise, high-tech surveillance equipment and manpower," said Capt. Michael J. Andrew of the Baltimore Police Department's drug enforcement section. "But the tangible benefits of a joint investigation like this one go beyond all of that. It fosters a good working relationship between the agents and the officers."

Honored for their work were Special Agents Reginald L. Tillery; Darren B. Wolpert; Ronald A. Woods; Brian J. Fitzpatrick; Eric P. Ebrus; Theodore B. Hindes; Christopher H. Hoffman; Cindy W. Busky; Justin K. May; Terrence Loftus; and Raymond Geoghegan. Peter F. Gruden, special agent in charge; Anthony Cammarato, assistant special agent in charge; and Franco, the group supervisor, were also presented with awards.

Pub Date: 10/10/97

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