Police make more than 70 arrests, seize 31 vehicles in undercover drug operation 'Operation Decoy' set up at West Baltimore sites


Undercover police officers posing as drug dealers arrested more than 70 would-be drug buyers -- 31 of them suburbanites -- yesterday and Wednesday at three West Baltimore intersections known for heavy narcotics activity.

Police also seized 31 vehicles and nearly $800 during "Operation Decoy," said Lt. Michael Kundrat, operations commander of the Western District drug enforcement unit.

Suspects in custody

The suspects, with the exception of two juveniles, were being held at the Central Booking and Intake Center, pending bail hearings, Kundrat said. The juveniles were being held at the juvenile detention facility at the Northern District.

Similar operations in the city over the past few weeks resulted in many arrests and the seizure of many vehicles and large sums of money, police said.

Kundrat said the intersections staked out by the shabbily dressed plainclothes "dealers" and their arrest teams were at Fremont and Lafayette avenues, Payson and Lanvale streets and Thomas Avenue and Presbury Street.

'Heavy drug traffic'

"We received several complaints from residents of heavy drug traffic at those intersections and we acted quickly and effectively," Kundrat said.

For nearly 20 hours during the two days, "dealers" stood on the corners and accepted money from people seeking to purchase marijuana, cocaine and heroin, Kundrat said.

"After the money was exchanged, the undercover officers led the suspects one by one into a nearby vacant house where the person was arrested and processed," Kundrat said.

He said 31 of the suspects live in Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties. The seized vehicles were stored at a city impounding lot.

Pub Date: 5/15/98

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