City officers posing as drug dealers arrest 16


Posing as drug dealers, Southwestern District undercover police officers arrested 16 people attempting to buy cocaine and heroin yesterday evening, and seized nine vehicles and more than $800.

Sgt. Timothy Devine, head of the district's drug enforcement unit, said the arrests occurred between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the 500 block of N. Denison St., a dead-end street that prevented suspects arriving by car from driving off if they became suspicious.

Before the operation began, officers ran off several regular drug dealers, Devine said. "We had officers on the perimeter to prevent interference, shabbily-dressed officers posing as dealers, some who made the arrests and officers who processed the suspects in a vacant house," he said.

Devine said that among the suspects was a Catonsville man, 57, who told police he was buying drugs for his 28-year-old girlfriend and didn't want her to come into the city and get arrested.

Another suspect was on his way to drug counseling, Devine said.

Some of the suspects were from Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Carroll counties.

A week ago, Western District police staged "Operation Decoy" at three intersections known for heavy drug activity and arrested more than 70 people -- 31 of them from the suburbs -- who were trying to buy drugs.

Pub Date: 5/21/98

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