Posing as Cupid's messengers on Valentine's Day, Anne Arundel County police last night arrested six people on warrants charging them with drug violations.
Undercover police officers pretended they were delivering candy from secret admirers to the alleged street-level dealers. The gaily decorated, red, heart-shaped boxes carried by the officers contained not sweets but a pair of handcuffs.
An unmarked white van in which other officers hid was used as a delivery vehicle.
Sgt. Dennis O'Toole, of the narcotics squad, said the arrests followed a lengthy investigation of distribution of cocaine, marijuana and PCP in Severna Park, Pasadena and Annapolis.
Fifteen others charged in warrants continue to be sought, O'Toole said.
Those arrested last night were:
* Robert Russ 3rd, 21, of the 100 block of Arundel Ave. in Severna Park, charged with possession of cocaine.
* James Hicks, 36, of the 7700 block of Central Ave. in Pasadena, charged with distribution of marijuana.
* Pamela Hause, 21, of the 8300 block of Hilda Ave. in Pasadena, charged with possession of PCP.
* Dennis Day, 44, of the 800 block of Brooke Court in Annapolis, charged with distribution of cocaine.
* Leroy Milton Jr., 19, of the 200 block of Gross Ave. in Annapolis, charged with distribution of cocaine.
* Trenton Wilson, 29, of the 1200 block of Marda Lane in Annapolis, charged with distribution of cocaine.
The sting operation began yesterday afternoon and ended around 10:30 p.m., O'Toole said.
He said the targets of the sting answered their doors and were asked to identify themselves before they could get the candy.
"When they told our deliveryman their name and asked what was in the box, the officer opened the box and showed them the handcuffs," O'Toole said.
He said Russ was the only one who ducked back inside and shut the door. The undercover officers summoned a uniformed officer from the van, and he persuaded Russ to surrender peaceably.
O'Toole said 15 others wanted for drug violations either were not at home or were in jail for unrelated crimes in Baltimore and Prince George's County.
At homes where the suspects were absent, police left typewritten business cards with a telephone number and a message to call if they wanted their Valentine's Day candy.
O'Toole said those arrested dealt in small amounts of drugs and worked independently.
A small amount of drugs and about $175 were found on Wilson when he was arrested, police said.
O'Toole said his men did not have search-and-seizure warrants and doubted those arrested had large amounts of drugs hidden in their homes. "They sold just enough to satisfy their personal needs and make a little profit," he said.