Police have arrested a man charged with operating an alleged crack cocaine organization accused of selling up to 6 pounds of narcotics a day in East Baltimore.
Investigators from Baltimore, Baltimore County and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, who arrested Dante Chauncy Linton on Tuesday night, said 22 other suspected drug dealers were indicted yesterday on various charges.
The charges resulted from several months of investigating drug dealing in the city's McElderry Park area. In all, 24 city and county locales were searched, and police said they seized $61,790 cash, 7 pounds of cocaine, six handguns, two shotguns and a rifle.
"This is a total decimation," said Col. James L. Hawkins Jr., who heads the Criminal Investigation Bureau. "We got everyone, from the mules to the upper echelon."
In addition to the arrests in Baltimore, police said they had the help of the U.S. Attorney's Organized Crime task force and apprehended four New Yorkers who are suspected of supplying drugs to the Baltimore operation.
Linton, 29, was charged as the alleged ringleader with possession of drugs with intent to distribute and gun possession. Police said federal authorities are considering taking his case because of the large quantity of drugs involved.
Police said Linton, who was being held without bail yesterday at the Central Booking and Intake Center, lives at several city addresses. He was arrested Tuesday night at a York Road motel, which police said was used to get drugs ready for street sale.
From that room, police said, they confiscated a portable heater with two bowls containing a pound of raw cocaine being cooked into its "crack" form - worth about $100,000 on the street. Also, police said they seized a 1997 Ford Explorer and found a handgun hidden in a compartment inside the vehicle. Police said they are testing the guns to determine if they were used in the commission of crimes.