Math teacher arrested on drug charge Police pose as dealers at public housing complex

June 06, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A Towson University math professor has been charged with buying cocaine at a public housing complex in Northeast Baltimore, the latest of more than 100 suburbanites arrested in the city this year on drug charges.

John Morrison, 49, of the 200 block of Midlass Drive in Middle River, was arrested at the start of a weeklong undercover initiative in Hollander Ridge by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City police force, authorities said.

Morrison, who was not teaching this semester, and two women in a Toyota minivan were arrested about 10: 50 p.m. Monday when, police say, they walked up to a vacant ground-floor apartment being watched by police.

Officers obtained warrants and arrested seven people on drug-dealing charges early yesterday. They returned last night to the community posing as drug dealers and by the end of the operation arrested 16 people accused of drug buying.

Morrison, who earned a master's degree and a doctorate from the University of Maryland system, was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Police accused him of buying 16 small bags of crack cocaine.

Pamela Kendig, 36, who lives with Morrison, and Lauren B. Caldwell, 36, of the 300 block of St. George Road in Middle River, were each charged with conspiracy to buy drugs.

The three suspects were released Tuesday on bail and have court hearings scheduled for next month. Kendig and Caldwell could not be reached for comment.

Morrison, who has taught at Towson University for 20 years, also could not be reached. His lawyer, George Psoras Jr., declined to comment.

Baltimore County police charged Morrison with possession of drug paraphernalia in February; that case is pending.

Michael Anselmi, a university lawyer, said Morrison taught a few classes last semester but would not say why Morrison was not teaching. "Any personnel action is confidential," he said.

Hollander Ridge is a crime-troubled neighborhood near Moravia VTC Industrial Park, east of Interstate 95, near the Baltimore County line.

Police have conducted similar operations throughout the city this year, arresting more than 100 people who live outside the city. They accounted for half of the city's drug-buying arrests, police say.

Pub Date: 6/06/98

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