Officer charged in drug case released to pretrial supervision

12-year veteran suspected of Ecstasy sales at home

November 15, 2001|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A city police officer charged by federal investigators with selling Ecstasy from his Glen Burnie home was released by a federal magistrate yesterday after a brief hearing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Officer Donald R. Jones, 33, a 12-year veteran assigned to the Southern District, was released by Magistrate Judge Paul W. Grimm to the supervision of the U.S. Pretrial Services Office.

Grimm said at Jones' initial hearing yesterday that the officer poses no risk of flight or danger to the community and that he has no criminal convictions.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip S. Jackson did not object to releasing Jones yesterday.

Grimm ordered Jones to stay away from witnesses in the case, including an informant who helped investigators.

According to court papers, the informant told agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Administration last month that a city officer had sold him Ecstasy, a drug popular among teen-agers for "rave" parties. City police say the drug is now being used by street addicts.

At the agents' direction, the informant called Jones on Oct. 18 and set up a meeting to make a purchase, according to an affidavit signed by the agents. The next day, the agents equipped the informant with a wire and followed him to Jones' home in Glen Burnie, where he purchased 100 pills for $1,300, according to the affidavit.

The investigators directed the informant to arrange another purchase. After a phone call to Jones, the informant purchased $2,500 worth of Ecstasy on Nov. 6 from the officer as he sat behind the wheel of his 2000 Toyota 4-Runner, according to the affidavit.

Jones, who was suspended by city police after his arrest Tuesday, could receive a maximum of 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines if convicted, Grimm said.

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