East Baltimore drug ring broken, police say

10 indicted, 7 arrested

cocaine, heroin seized

August 30, 2002|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Baltimore prosecutors and police officials announced yesterday the breakup of an East Baltimore drug ring and the indictment of a suspected major supplier of products needed to create street-level narcotics.

"This was a months-long investigation with intense work by detectives," said State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy. "We're using every tool in the toolbox to (reduce) violence on our streets."

Jessamy and police officials said 10 people were indicted last week on drug charges stemming from the investigation. Seven have been arrested and are being held on sizable bails, officials said.

Police seized 130 grams of raw heroin, an ounce of cocaine, 150 gel caps of heroin and 53 vials of cocaine, they said.

Police also announced that they had made large seizures of chemical cutting agents - including 560 bars of mannite and 14 bottles of quinine - used to dilute heroin.The investigation began in December when detectives in Sgt. James Kirkpatrick Jr.'s drug squad began looking into community complaints about dealing near North Bradford and East Lanvale streets, said Maj. Fred Bealefeld of the police narcotics unit.

Detectives eventually focused their investigation on Ronald Hall, 39, of the 700 block of N. Broadway, who is accused of being the drug gang's leader, police said.

Hall was accused of selling drugs, including heroin and cocaine, out of a snowball stand and candy shop in the 1300 block of N. Caroline St., among other locations, police said. He is being held on $1 million bail and is charged with drug conspiracy.

Using wiretaps, detectives were led to Cortez Morris, 42, of the 3700 block of Ridgecroft Road, police said. Morris is suspected of running a profitable business supplying cutting agents and other supplies to drug dealers across the city, police said.

Detectives seized 96,000 glass vials from Morris' car and home, police said. He is being held on $200,000 bail and is charged with conspiring to distribute drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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