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By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer | August 26, 1992
Until now, the five-member Carroll County Narcotics Task Force has been going about its business -- conducting raids, seizing drugs and making arrests -- without ever knowing whether it is a police group or another arm of the State's Attorney's Office.But a $10.5 million lawsuit filed by Westminster attorney Stephen P. Bourexis may leave it up to a judge to decide exactly what the task force is.Mr. Bourexis' lawsuit seeks damages because the lawyer claims he and his clients are blackballed from entering plea agreements with the drug-fighting group.
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NEWS
By Mike Farabaugh and Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF | August 31, 2000
A Westminster police officer will likely be assigned to the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force "within the next week or two," after the city's formal agreement to cooperate with the joint agency. The agreement commits Westminster to assigning an officer full time to the task force, which also includes members of Maryland State Police, Carroll County Sheriff's Office and the county state's attorney's office. "It's a win-win situation for all - city, community, law enforcement and government," said Westminster Police Chief Roger Joneckis.
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NEWS
By Brenda J. Buote and Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF | May 16, 1999
An Eastern Shore couple arrested during a drug raid at their home Friday evening had a cache of weapons and ammunition, three pipe bombs and a Molotov cocktail, police said yesterday.Police said that when they raided the house in the 9400 block of Black Dog Alley in Easton about 9: 30 p.m. as part of a two-month investigation, they found the weapons, $10,000 worth of drugs, $2,726 in cash and paraphernalia.Charles Edward Cheezum Jr., 38, and his wife, Brenda Lee Cheezum, 36, were charged with numerous drug and weapon offenses, said Maryland state police spokesman Pete A. Piringer.
NEWS
By Brenda J. Buote and Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF | May 16, 1999
An Eastern Shore couple arrested during a drug raid at their home Friday evening had a cache of weapons and ammunition, three pipe bombs and a Molotov cocktail, police said yesterday.Police said that when they raided the house in the 9400 block of Black Dog Alley in Easton about 9: 30 p.m. as part of a two-month investigation, they found the weapons, $10,000 worth of drugs, $2,726 in cash and paraphernalia.Charles Edward Cheezum Jr., 38, and his wife, Brenda Lee Cheezum, 36, were charged with numerous drug and weapon offenses, said Maryland state police spokesman Pete A. Piringer.
NEWS
June 16, 1993
A detailed audit of the financial activities of the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force is long overdue. This police group has been operating for more than four years without publicly disclosing the value of the assets it has seized or obtained through its "buy back" program. Nor has it said how that money was spent.The Carroll County Commissioners assert there is only one reason for the audit -- to see whether $10,000 of secure radio equipment could be purchased using funds from the task force's seized assets.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer | August 16, 1995
A Westminster homemaker who filed a lawsuit in June against the former leaders of the now-defunct Carroll County Narcotics Task Force widened the scope of the litigation yesterday to include others who believe they were mistreated by the group.Marie S. Boyd and her attorneys filed papers in Carroll Circuit Court that turned the original six-count complaint into a class-action suit.They are seeking anyone "whose vehicles were seized by members of the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force and . . . whose vehicles were 'bought back' by their owners, as well as those who refused to 'buy back' their vehicles," the suit said.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer | November 19, 1993
Stephen P. Bourexis' failed $10.5 million lawsuit against the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force was actually a victory for "any lawyer in the state of Maryland," the Westminster defense attorney said in a request for more than $13,000 in attorney's fees from the anti-drug unit.The failed lawsuit, filed in June 1992, accused the drug task force of blackballing Mr. Bourexis and his clients from any plea negotiations. Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. dismissed the suit. The Court of Special Appeals upheld the dismissal and, last month, the Court of Appeals declined to hear Mr. Bourexis' appeal.
NEWS
September 20, 1992
WESTMINSTER -- The Carroll County Narcotics Task Force can continue to avoid working with clients of defense attorney Stephen P. Bourexis, a judge ruled last week.In hearing preliminary motions in the Main Street attorney's $10.5 million lawsuit against the task force, Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. denied Mr. Bourexis' request to prevent task force officers from excluding his clients from plea deals or other consideration.Also Friday, Judge Beck reserved judgment on the task force's motions for dismissal of the suit.
NEWS
August 6, 1993
Surveillance leads to drug chargesA northwest Baltimore man under investigation for about two months in the alleged sale of drugs at Center and Charles streets in Westminster was arrested by members of the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force Wednesday night.Frank Dorsey Willis, 52, of the 3900 block of Fairview Ave., was stopped on Route 140 near the state police barracks about 9:30 p.m., said Sgt. John Burton of the task force.Police recovered 51 bags of crack cocaine with a street value of more than $1,000, Sergeant Burton said.
NEWS
January 13, 1994
The Carroll County Narcotics Task Force is seeking to keep a 1989 Ford Escort owned by a drug defendant who balked at paying the task force $500 to get it back.In forfeiture papers filed yesterday in Carroll Circuit Court, the drug group says the Escort owned by Michael D. Magruder was used to "transport . . . controlled dangerous substances . . . and the owner of the vehicle knew or should have known that the vehicle was being used in such a manner."Mr. Magruder was arrested by Westminster police Dec. 1 and charged with possession of cocaine and cocaine paraphernalia.
NEWS
By Mike Farabaugh and Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF | February 2, 1999
The Carroll County Narcotics Task Force, defunct since 1995, will be back in operation with new partners by March, state police officials said yesterday.Meeting to routinely inform the county's three-member Board of Commissioners on the status of the Resident Trooper Program and related matters, leaders of the state police regional drug unit told the commissioners that Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning and State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes have agreed to provide additional staff members for the task force.
NEWS
By Amy L. Miller and Amy L. Miller,SUN STAFF | March 11, 1996
An $80,000 lawsuit contesting the legality of the now-defunct Carroll County Narcotics Task Force's vehicle seizure practices has been partially dismissed.The suit -- filed in June by Westminster homemaker Marie S. Boyd and her husband, Paul -- claimed task force members had lied to them and violated the couple's constitutional rights when their car was seized in May 1992.At that time, Mrs. Boyd and her daughter, Diane L. Wisner, were returning from the grocery store when task force members stopped their car and found less than an ounce of cocaine in Ms. Wisner's purse.
NEWS
By Greg Tasker and Greg Tasker,SUN STAFF | January 19, 1996
Former Carroll State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman said yesterday that he hopes to "set the record straight" by providing the County Commissioners with a report citing factual errors in a county government audit of the now-defunct drug task force.The 42-page audit, released in October, criticized Mr. Hickman and the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force for seizing property from suspected drug users and selling it back to them without court approval. The audit criticized the task force for sloppy recordkeeping, for allowing seized cars to become disabled and for losing track of thousands of dollars.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Amy L. Miller and Darren M. Allen and Amy L. Miller,SUN STAFF | October 8, 1995
Suspects arrested on drug charges in Carroll County between September 1992 and June 1994 often had two ways out of their dilemma: go to court or buy back their cars from the authorities.According to a county government audit of the now-defunct Carroll County Narcotics Task Force, more than 80 percent of arrested drug suspects whose cars were seized by task force officers avoided serious consequences from the criminal justice system simply by buying back their cars.The task force, under the guidance of Thomas E. Hickman, then the state's attorney, had drawn criticism in Carroll and around Maryland for years.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Amy L. Miller of the Sun Staff contributed to this article | October 7, 1995
For nearly two years, Carroll County's drug task force seized thousands of dollars worth of cars from suspected drug users and dealers and sold them back to their owners, even though only five cases ever led to felony convictions.The findings, contained in a county government audit released yesterday, illustrate the reliance of former State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman on property seizures to fund the now-defunct task force -- a practice that has been strongly criticized by civil libertarians, Carroll Circuit Court judges and the county's commissioners.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer | August 16, 1995
A Westminster homemaker who filed a lawsuit in June against the former leaders of the now-defunct Carroll County Narcotics Task Force widened the scope of the litigation yesterday to include others who believe they were mistreated by the group.Marie S. Boyd and her attorneys filed papers in Carroll Circuit Court that turned the original six-count complaint into a class-action suit.They are seeking anyone "whose vehicles were seized by members of the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force and . . . whose vehicles were 'bought back' by their owners, as well as those who refused to 'buy back' their vehicles," the suit said.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer | May 7, 1993
ANNAPOLIS -- A Court of Special Appeals judge yesterday denounced the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force's practice of refusing to deal with drug suspects represented by Westminster attorney Stephen P. Bourexis."
NEWS
By Jackie Powder and Jackie Powder,Staff Writer | September 30, 1993
The 23-year-old son of local marijuana rights activist Pamela Snowhite Davis was fined $50 yesterday for exhibiting disorderly conduct after his mother was sentenced in April to two years in prison.Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold rejected prosecutors' recommendation that David Kif Davis be fined $250.Mr. Davis, who referred to members of the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force as "fascists" at his mother's sentencing, pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct.As part of the plea agreement, the state dropped an assault and battery charge against him. Mr. Davis was charged with "poking" Deputy Jay Price in the left shoulder, Assistant State's Attorney Ed Ulsche said.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer Staff writer Kerry O'Rourke contributed to this article | August 6, 1995
The Carroll County Narcotics Task Force, a fixture in county law enforcement for more than seven years, is no longer.With last week's departure of the county sheriff's office from the group, the four entities that had worked together on drug crimes since 1988 are going their separate ways."
NEWS
July 27, 1995
Chief Sam Leppo's decision to remove the Westminster Police Department from participation in the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force should serve as a warning sign. Of all the policy-making personnel involved in the task force the past five years, Mr. Leppo was its most responsible member.Mr. Leppo hasn't explained his decision for pulling out, but he has been uncomfortable with the task force's conduct in the past. Although others resisted the calls for an audit to investigate task force finances, Chief Leppo did not. He opened his books to inspection by auditors and newspaper reporters.
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