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Two cab drivers in Harford charged with drug offenses Undercover police arrest 5 others along the way


Two Harford County cab drivers have been arrested and charged in separate incidents in which undercover officers were driven to county locations for illegal drug purchases, the county sheriff's office said yesterday.

James Otha Solomon, 53, of the 400 block of Dembytown Road in Joppa was charged with conspiracy to distribute counterfeit crack cocaine and Christopher Cole Edmondson, 27, of the 1600 block of LaSalle Road in Forest Hill was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, described as powder cocaine.

Both cab drivers were arrested Friday. From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., undercover officers requested cab service by phone. After they were picked up, the officers asked the drivers if drugs could be found along the U.S. 40 corridor.

In one case, the officers were taken to the Perrywood Garden apartment complex in the 200 block of Perrywood Court in Perryman to make a drug purchase.

Mr. Solomon was arrested at that address after the officers bought drugs, they said.

Tonya Leenette Riddle, 24, of the first block of Circle Drive in Port Deposit was also arrested at the Perryman address. She was charged with possession of the counterfeit substance with intent to distribute it.

In the second incident, officers said Mr. Edmondson, who drives for the ABBA cab company in Edgewood, took them to the 100 block of East Bel Air Avenue in Aberdeen to buy drugs.

Also arrested at that location was Keith Eric Davis Jr., 19, of the 200 block of East Bel Air Avenue. He was charged with distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and possession a handgun.

Three juveniles were arrested at the same address and released to their parents pending criminal charges. The adults were being held at the Harford County detention center near Bel Air and were awaiting a hearing before a court commissioner.

Police said about 23 quarter-gram bags of powder cocaine with an estimated street value of $600, about 10 pieces of counterfeit crack cocaine and $460 in cash were seized in the two incidents. Also confiscated were a .22-caliber handgun and a 1991 Nissan Sentra.

Undercover officers in a federally funded street drug enforcement unit in the Harford County Sheriff's Office as well as uniformed officers from the sheriff's office, the state police and the Aberdeen Police Department participated in the investigation.

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