Crime Watch


April 22, 2009|By MELISSA HARRIS

Drug charges dropped against Baltimore man

Baltimore prosecutors dropped charges yesterday against a 44-year-old West Baltimore man, who, along with a leader of the local NAACP chapter, was arrested in a drug possession case near Pennsylvania Avenue and Dolphin Street in March. Prosecutor Shawn Essien said that the search of Kevin Logan was illegal because the police officer only saw the defendant pay money in exchange for "a small object" before searching a car and its occupants. Ellis L. Staten Jr., a vice president of the local NAACP chapter, was also arrested but never charged with a crime. Officers wrote in charging documents that they recovered suspected drugs. "Based on the area he was in and the history of the area, the officer believed it was a drug transaction ... but he didn't see the item," Essien said. "He couldn't articulate the color or what size it was. It could have been Tylenol or a cigarette. It was just not enough. ... Being in a high-drug area is not enough to search a car."

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