Westminster drug probe nets 6 9 sought; Street-level dealers were target, police say

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Six Westminster residents were arrested on drug charges during the weekend and nine others were being sought after a four-month undercover operation by city police, authorities said.

The drug probe was aimed at street-level dealers to immediately reduce the availability of drugs such as crack cocaine and marijuana on the street, said Westminster police Chief Sam Leppo.

"Will it make a dent on drugs in Westminster? Certainly," Leppo said. "Will others come to replace the drug dealers? Certainly."

Further arrests could lead officers to the suppliers of the street-level dealers, Leppo said.

Undercover officers purchased small quantities of drugs from the suspects between October and January, police said. Larger quantities, money and weapons were not seized, because officers did not want to risk being identified, said Leppo and Jerry F. Barnes, the county's chief prosecutor.

"Some of the people [still to be arrested] are not low-level street dealers," Barnes said. "We know from the frequency of sales and the speed with which they can replenish supplies after making sales that they are mid- to upper-level dealers."

A Carroll County grand jury issued indictments last week.

Arrested Friday were:

Anthony S. Palmerino, 24, of the first block of Charles Street, on two counts of possession of marijuana and cocaine, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released on his own recognizance.

A 16-year-old male on charges of selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer. He is being held at the Charles P. Hickey School in Baltimore County.

Karen K. Hogue, 42, of the first block of Pennsylvania Ave., on charges of second-degree assault; possession of Zanex, an anti-depressant; possession of drug paraphernalia; and malicious destruction of property. She was released on personal recognizance.

Arrested Saturday were:

Anthony T. Johnson, 38, of 100 block of S. Center St., on charges of distributing cocaine, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of cocaine and solicitation to possess cocaine. He is being held on $10,000 bail at the detention center.

Delrico M. Towns, 22, of the first block of Carroll View Ave., on two counts of distributing crack cocaine, two counts of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, two counts of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, two counts of possession of cocaine and one count of maintaining a common nuisance. He is being held at the detention center on $10,000 bail.

Anthony D. Oram, 34, of the first block of Liberty St., on 32 drug-related charges, including nine counts of distribution of cocaine, nine counts of possession of cocaine and seven counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Oram also was charged with five counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, one count of solicitation to sell cocaine and one count of theft. He was being held without bail yesterday at the detention center.

Pub Date: 2/04/97

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