Calif. woman charged with selling drug paraphernalia at concert


Police charged a 45-year-old California woman with selling and possessing drug paraphernalia during a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion Friday night, seizing more than 550 smoking pipes from her booth, county police said.

At 7:15 p.m. Friday, Helen Carol Lewis, of Spring Valley, Calif., was charged with one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of possession with intent to distribute drug paraphernalia, police said. She was released on her own recognizance.

Her arrest came after members of the department's street drug section received information that someone had set up a booth on the grounds of the concert pavilion and was selling smoking pipe paraphernalia, police said.

Officers arrived, found the booth and arrested Ms. Lewis, seizing pipes that included ceramic figurine water pipes.

That night's concert featured Peter Gabriel, Midnight Oil, Arrested Development and other groups from around the world at the World of Music and Dance festival.

Workers evacuated in gas leak

More than 100 workers at the Patuxent Publishing Co. were evacuated from their office building yesterday morning after gas accidentally leaked from an air conditioning system, a county fire and rescue services spokesman said.

L No one was injured, said the spokesman, Sgt. Robert Wiseman.

A maintenance employee who was working on an air conditioning system on the second-floor caused an accidental release of Freon from the compressor shortly after 1 p.m. at the building in the 10700 block of Little Patuxent Parkway, Sergeant Wiseman said. But maintenance personnel quickly contained the leak.

The fire department helped ventilate the building, which had already been evacuated.


* Harper's Choice: 5400 block of Old Tucker Row: A woman reported that she had stopped at a gas station in the Harper's Choice Village Center to use a pay telephone at 4:30 a.m. Saturday when a man tried to grab her purse from her car. When the woman would not let go of her purse, the thief grabbed a book bag and fled. The thief was described as a dark-skinned black male, 6 foot 4 inches tall, and 200 pounds. He was wearing a red shirt with black stripes or squares and dark pants.

12100 block of Little Patuxent Parkway: A 1992 green Ford Probe was stolen between 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 10:20 a.m. Sunday. The Maryland license plates are: ZVG-468.

5400 block of Harper's Farm Road: An officer responding to a sounding alarm shortly before 4 a.m. yesterday found a window broken at Williamsburg Builders. A computer printer was stolen.

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