23 people arrested on drug charges

Operation was biggest in city's history, say Westminster police

Carroll County

December 19, 2003|By Athima Chansanchai | Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF

A six-month investigation has led to 23 arrests in what Westminster police yesterday called their largest drug operation ever.

About 40 officers from Westminster, the state police barracks at Westminster, the state's attorney's office and the sheriff's office working together as part of the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force, arrested 17 men and six women Wednesday, authorities said.

Most of those arrested have Carroll County addresses, but acting Westminster Police Chief Maj. Dean Brewer said the suspects are new to the county.

"What happens is, people come in and out from Baltimore County and Baltimore City and set up shop in the county," Brewer said. "They come into the community, and they think they're getting away with something because no one's bothering them."

He said undercover officers made about 43 purchases, leading to the arrests. Twenty-one of the 23 arrests were the result of grand jury indictments, he said.

Most of the suspects are charged with distribution of marijuana and crack cocaine. The suspects were being held at the Carroll County Detention Center, Brewer said.

Police are looking for seven more suspects and plan to pursue three others once charges have been filed, he said.

"This is the largest operation we've had thus far," Brewer said.

About $3,000 worth of drugs was confiscated, including 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana, 4 ounces of cocaine, 8 grams of powdered cocaine, almost 6 grams of heroin and 14 Ecstasy pills, police said.

A 2003 Nissan was confiscated at the Finksburg residence of one of the suspects, police said.

The suspects range in age from 18 to 40, and 18 are Westminster residents, police said.

One suspect lives in Finksburg, another in Woodbine and one had no fixed address, police said.

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