17 arrested in police sweep of east side

August 27, 1998|By Paula Lavigne | Paula Lavigne,SUN STAFF

About 50 Baltimore police officers swept through east side neighborhoods yesterday and arrested 12 people for felony drug distribution as part of a two-month undercover investigation. Five other people were arrested on parole and probation violation charges.

Police Lt. John Foster said the sweep, which started at 6 a.m. and ended at noon, was directed by the Youth Violence Strike Force in partnership with officers from the Eastern and Southeastern districts, Maryland parole and probation officers and the city Housing Authority.

The area bordered by East Eager Street, Edison and Pulaski highways and Patterson Park Avenue is one of the city's six designated "HotSpot" communities, where a team of law enforcement officers and residents target repeat offenders.

Police Sgt. David Reitz said police arrested 11 of 15 people for whom they had warrants on charges of drug distribution. Police say the warrants were issued after people sold drugs to an undercover officer.

Police arrested another man on a drug distribution charge as they searched three homes in the area. At one home, in the 400 block of S. Newkirk St., police found 83 bags of crack cocaine.

Foster said that because many of those arrested had records, they were facing high bails, from $25,000 to $1.5 million, which would provide "immediate relief to the community."

"A lot of times they get let out right away," he said. "This time, that's very unlikely."

Pub Date: 8/27/98

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