Police end 2-month Govans investigation 34 drug-related arrests near scene of 2 killings

November 25, 1997|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

In the wake of two recent killings on the same street in Govans, city police have targeted drug suppliers, dealers and users to help bring stability back to the drug-torn North Baltimore neighborhood.

Police have arrested 34 people in the past two months in the vicinity of the 700 block of McCabe Ave. -- including one described by investigators as a major drug supplier who lives in the northeast section of the city.

The two-month operation ended Friday when police posed as drug dealers and arrested 14 people in three hours, including suspected addicts from Harford and Baltimore counties.

"It's a good community," said Maj. Robert Novak, commander of the Northern District station. "It's been overtaken by drugs. The community is working hard to get the drug dealers out and we are working hard to do the same."

The first slaying in the 700 block of McCabe Ave. occurred Sept. 19. Police believe Maishan St. Patrick Nelson, 19, a promising Morgan State University student who also worked as a computer engineer, took a wrong turn in a car and might have been shot in a case of mistaken identity.

Two months later, Nov. 13, a 30-year-old man was fatally shot while sitting in his car in the same block. Police have not learned of a motive in that shooting.

Novak said his officers first arrested three suspected drug suppliers, one of whom he said grew up in the neighborhood but now is charged with operating the local drug trade from his home on Ravenwood Avenue. Police said they seized 118 packages of suspected cocaine, a handgun and packaging materials from the house.

Several days later, Novak said, police moved in and arrested five suspected street dealers and seized 2 ounces of pure cocaine, two cars and four handguns.

Police had been conducting what they call "street rips" -- moving in to arrest low-level workers and drug users. Novak said police made 22 such arrests over a month and seized 250 bags of cocaine, two handguns and a Tec-9 semiautomatic pistol that holds 24 bullets.

Pub Date: 11/25/97

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