A routine traffic stop at Ritchie Highway and Church Street early yesterday netted county police 79 rocks of crack cocaine worth nearly $4,000, a loaded handgun and three suspects, authorities said.
Police said an officer pulled over a 1977 Oldsmobile carrying three Prince George's County men about 1:15 a.m. because it had a 15-day temporary license plate.
Officer Terry Crowe, a police spokesman, said those tags are issued only so drivers can legally get to an inspection station and back to the Motor Vehicle Administration, neither of which are open at 1:14 a.m.
Officer Crowe said the three men gave conflicting stories to the arresting officer, who said he got permission to search their car.
One suspect had a loaded .25 caliber handgun in his rear pants pocket. Two bags containing the cocaine were found in the car, police said.
Robert L. Newton, 35, of the 1500 block of Arcadia Ave., Capitol Heights, was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a handgun. Tyrone A. Edmonston, 21, and Lawrence L. Black, 39, both of the 3300 block of Curtis Ave., in Temple Hills, were charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine.