18 charged in Carroll drug ring

August 13, 2004|By Athima Chansanchai | Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF

Undercover police officers on the Carroll County Drug Task Force ended a 10-month investigation this week with the arrest of 18 people, including a Sykesville woman they identified as the ringleader of the operation.

Evelyn Esposito, 43, of the 5000 block of Stone Mill Court was arrested Tuesday and charged with eight counts of drug manufacturing, and possession and distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, Ecstasy and prescription drugs. She is being held at the Carroll County Detention Center on $250,000 bail, pending a bail review hearing today.

Police said they seized $19,000 in cash, 58 ounces of cocaine worth $133,000, 3 pounds of marijuana worth $15,000, a loaded .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun, 181 tablets of Ecstasy worth more than $1,000, and several thousand prescription pills.

Authorities also said they confiscated 12 vehicles and three motorcycles.

"This has been a very successful and very intense covert drug operation," said Carroll County State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes. "This once more sends forth the message that Carroll County is an unattractive jurisdiction to ply this insidious trade."

At the Westminster state police barracks yesterday, officers covered two tables with cocaine, pills and marijuana sealed in clear bags. Neatly stacked bills were also placed in clear bags as part of the evidence police said they recovered.

Esposito was one of 18 people, including five other women and four juveniles, arrested on various drug charges after police executed 11 search-and-seizure warrants in Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties.

Among those arrested were Richard Sanford, 48, of Newburg Avenue in Catonsville, who faces conspiracy and distribution charges, and Michael Keeney, 25, of Carroll Street in Baltimore, who faces charges of distribution and possession with intent to distribute.

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