Four people were arrested on drug charges last week at the Stevens Forest Apartments in Columbia's Oakland Mills village as part of an undercover investigation, Howard County Police said.
More arrests are likely as police continue attempts to crack down on drug activity in the complex, said Sgt. Steven Keller, police spokesman. The Thursday night arrests are the result of at least the fourth raid since police opened a satellite office in the complex in April 1993.
Arrested in the latest raids were Frederick M. Fields, 41; Vickie M. Fields, 41; Marquise D. Colleton, 22; and Marcella M. Hayes, 27, police said. All four were released on their own recognizance, a Howard District Court commissioner said.
The Fieldses, who are married, are charged with possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The other two are charged with possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.
In the coordinated raids on three apartments in the complex, police found residue amounts of suspected narcotics in smoking pipes, film canisters and small vials, Sergeant Keller said.
Police also confiscated $483, he said.
Mrs. Fields had been arrested in an earlier drug raid at the apartment complex. She was charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, but those charges were put on the Howard District Court's inactive docket in February.
Charges on the inactive docket will not be prosecuted unless the suspect is convicted of other crimes within a year. Thus, prosecutors may reopen Mrs. Fields' earlier case.
Drug activities have been a concern of the apartment complex's residents for years. But the increased enforcement seems to be having an effect, said Dan Fields, senior property manager of the complex. Mr. Fields is not related to the arrested couple.
The property manager said drug activity "has waned and has been continuing to do so."
He said the satellite police office has been effective, but even more can be done. "I wish it was manned 24 hours a day," he said.
The satellite office is staffed about 12 hours a week, Sergeant Keller said.