Two men arrested, `raw heroin' found in raid

February 22, 1999|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Police said they raided a North Baltimore house Friday, seized "raw heroin" with an estimated street value of $50,000 and arrested two felons -- one of whom got out of prison nine months ago.

The targeted house was in the 2500 block of Keyworth Ave. in the Greenspring neighborhood, 10 blocks south of where two people recently were killed -- homicides that police said are being investigated as drug-related.

The killings were not necessarily tied to Friday's raid and arrests, police said.

Maj. Robert F. Biemiller, commander of the Northern District, said officers recovered four 1-ounce chunks of heroin shaped into cylinders and rounded at each end -- the way the drug is packaged by smugglers.

The larger chunks would be broken into small parts for snorting, which is a growing trend among users who choose not to inject potent levels of heroin, Biemiller said. A small vial of the drug sells for about $10.

Snorting heroin is being seen more frequently in the Greenspring community and in lower Park Heights, where a man was killed Jan. 28 and another was slain Feb. 14. Both shootings occurred in the 3000 block of Wylie Ave.

"We're looking at the area real hard because of the problems going on up there," Biemiller said.

One of the men arrested was identified as Michael Stratton, 27, of the 500 block of Presstman St. He had been convicted of drug distribution in 1989 and 1990 and was released from prison in May after serving seven years on a robbery charge.

The other suspect, Michael Berry, 36, of the Keyworth Avenue address, has drug convictions dating to August 1984 and January 1989.

Both were charged Friday with possession with intent to distribute drugs and felony possession of a handgun.

Pub Date: 2/22/99

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