Officer arrested on drug charges

Federal agents say suspect delivered cocaine packages

January 21, 2000|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore police officer was in custody yesterday after he was arrested by federal agents who charged him with delivering 2-pound cocaine shipments for a suspected drug organization.

Officer James Scott Fullwood, 34, assigned to the Southeastern District, was being held by the U.S. marshal's office pending a detention hearing scheduled for Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Stephen M. Schenning, first assistant U.S. attorney for Maryland, said Fullwood, a 13-year veteran, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at a bowling alley on Harford Road in Baltimore County by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

"I've often said we need to do a better job of policing our police," Mayor Martin O'Malley said last night. "You always have these problems when you have human beings in police uniforms."

City and federal law enforcement officials confirmed the arrest last night, but court documents detailing the investigation were not immediately available.

Schenning said Fullwood had been under investigation for some time and is charged with "working as a guard and a guy who would transport kilos for a drug organization."

Officials said Fullwood was arrested after DEA agents received a tip that a package of drugs was to be picked up at the bowling alley. Schenning said agents seized a 2.2-pound package of cocaine that tested 10 percent pure.

Police Commissioner Ronald L. Daniel said he had not read the complaint and could offer no details beyond relating the official charges. "I think that federal drug charges are serious charges," he said.

No relatives of Fullwood's or lawyers representing him could be reached for comment last night. The phone at the officer's last known home address in Perry Hall has been disconnected.

The last significant drug case against a Baltimore police officer concluded in May 1998 when Erick McCrary of the Eastern District, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for conspiring with a drug lord to abduct and kill a narcotics dealer.

McCrary was convicted of being closely allied with drug operatives by tipping them off to police raids and accepting bribes to fix arrests, all to help a dealer who ran a $30,00-a-day cocaine and heroin ring linked to a dozen killings.

Authorities were unable to say last night whether the charges in the most recent case involve such an intricate scheme.

Maj. George L. Klein, the Southeastern District commander, said allegations arose from the suspect's colleagues, "and we immediately looked into it and forwarded it to internal affairs."

Klein said the case involves the transportation of drugs in Baltimore and in Baltimore County, and that there are many people involved. Police said only Fullwood has been arrested.

"It's very important to get across to the public that this so-called blue wall of silence is not a wall," Klein said. "We got information, and we took care of business. We're not going to tolerate this from our own."

Sun staff writer Ivan Penn contributed to this article.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.