County hands suspect in raid to U.S. marshals


Carroll prosecutors dropped charges yesterday against a Randallstown man who was arrested nearly two months ago in connection with the largest drug seizure in recent county history. They turned him over to U.S. authorities for prosecution on federal drug and weapons charges.

James Edward "Beany" Costley, 37, of the 4000 block of Hupa Place, was released from the Carroll County Detention Center and handed over to U.S. marshals yesterday afternoon.

According to Carroll Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III, a federal grand jury in Baltimore last week returned a multiple-count indictment against Mr. Costley. He is charged with numerous drug and weapons violations, Mr. Walker said.

On May 19, Carroll County narcotics officers confiscated more than 2 pounds of crack cocaine and $50,000 worth of heroin from the Mr. Costley's home. Drug prosecutors said they had been investigating Mr. Costley since December.

He was arrested at a South Carroll park-and-ride lot by county drug officers and agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The arrest occurred after a man gave an undercover Carroll narcotics officer nearly an ounce of crack in exchange for three small-caliber pistols and more than $900, according to charging documents filed in the case.

Mr. Costley had been charged with four counts of cocaine distribution, four counts of maintaining a common nuisance and one count of using a firearm in a drug-trafficking crime.

All those charges were dropped during a brief hearing before Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. yesterday.

Mr. Costley had been held at the county jail on $250,000 bail.

His attorney, Howard L. Cardin of Baltimore, could not be reached yesterday.

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