With the arrest of a New York man yesterday, an interstate drug task force established last month in Maryland has completed its first mission by shutting down an East Coast cocaine operation, police say.
Six people linked to the operation have now been arrested, including a deputy sheriff in Chester, S.C.
Franklin Paulino, 19, the New Yorker, was arrested about 12:30 ++ p.m. yesterday by members of the interstate drug task force and New York City narcotics officers as he stood outside his house in the 2100 block of Amsterdam Ave. in Manhattan, police said.
"They did an outstanding job," said Tfc. J. Scott McCauley, a spokesman for the task force.
Trooper McCauley said New York police were "elated" to assist in the arrest, which was described as putting an end to a cocaine operation that extended to South Carolina.
The investigation of the cocaine operation began March 31 when two men were arrested by Maryland State Police while traveling on Interstate 95. Police seized 851 grams of cocaine, $5,250 in cash and two handguns, the spokesman said.
Police said that shortly afterward Lt. Danny Ray Glenn, 35, a narcotics officer with the Chester County (S.C.) Sheriff's Department, was arrested and charged with accepting a bribe, official misconduct and obstruction of justice. Two other South Carolina residents were also taken into custody.
Mr. Paulino was subsequently identified as the alleged source of cocaine in the New York-to-South Carolina ring, Trooper McCauley said. The spokesman said the "area where [Mr.
Paulino] resides has a high concentration of cocaine that is being shipped to all areas of the East Coast."
The interstate drug task force headed by Lt. Col. Thomas H. Carr, chief of the State Police Bureau of Drug Enforcement, was announced by Gov. William Donald Schaefer during a crime summit at the Baltimore Convention Center.
The task force's primary mission is to find out-of-state drug JTC suppliers (many of whom send teen-agers here to serve as street-level distributors) so that drug operations can be eliminated at the source.
Dr. Neil Solomon, chairman of the Governor's Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission, supported establishment of the task force while conducting crime seminars throughout Maryland.