A 2 1/2-hour police operation, combining traffic and drug enforcement, led to four arrests Friday and prompted numerous phone calls from concerned residents, the media and a congressman, state police said.
State police staked out a portion of Route 26 in South Carroll, west of the Liberty Reservoir bridges. Drivers were observed and stopped for traffic violations, such as not wearing seat belts. Police have done similar operations on Route 140 in Finksburg and Westminster.
Police received calls about the operation from citizens, media and the office of Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a Western Maryland Republican.
Lt. Terry Katz, Westminster barracks commander, said he wanted to dispel any rumors that state police were stopping and searching all vehicles entering the county for drugs.
Unlike a sobriety checkpoint, in which all cars are stopped briefly so troopers can check a driver's speech, eyes and breath, "drug interdictions" do not create traffic jams, Katz said.
"Drug interdiction operations are not about high numbers of stops, or even large amounts of drugs," Katz said. "It's all about the impact we can have on drug traffickers, making it harder to bring drugs into the county."
Police conducted Friday's operation at midday after analyzing crime statistics, Katz said.
"Burglaries in the South Carroll area dropped 20 percent in September, but we know most occur at night," he said. "We know burglary is often drug-driven, so after a crime is committed, the burglar goes to Baltimore, pawns whatever he has stolen, buys drugs and heads back here.
"We are aiming to catch him with a traffic violation, find the drugs and help prevent another burglary."
According to court records, those arrested were:
Mark A. Lambert, 35, of Randallstown, who was observed not wearing a seat belt. An investigation showed the license tags for his truck allegedly were stolen. He was arrested on charges of theft under $300, driving without insurance, driving with a suspended and revoked license and numerous traffic violations. His bail information was unavailable.
Carl M. Goodman, 38, of Reisterstown, who was stopped for a seat belt violation. Goodman was released on his own recognizance after being charged with possession of marijuana and not wearing a seat belt.
Douglas A. Kicas, 31, of Westminster, who was stopped for a seat belt violation and a broken tail light. He was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and a seat belt violation before being released on unsecured bail of $1,000.
John M. Rousey, 33, of Westminster was stopped after he pulled over and parked in a no-stopping area. Rousey was charged with possession of marijuana and illegal parking and released on his own recognizance.
Pub Date: 10/03/99