Man charged in drug probe freed on bail


A 31-year-old Southwest Baltimore man whose arrest on drug distribution charges last week was hailed by the city's new police commissioner as evidence of the department's efforts to combat drug trafficking was released on bail over the weekend.

Paris D. Harper of the 2500 block of Christian St. posted $350,000 bail through a bondsman Saturday evening, officials said. He was initially held on $1 million bail when Commissioner-designate Kevin P. Clark announced the arrest Thursday, but District Court Judge Ronald Alan Karasic reduced it to $350,000 the next day, officials said.

Clark had described Harper as a "midlevel player" in a drug organization, and said his arrest resulted from a two-month investigation of drug selling at Laurens Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. "An arrest like this is significant to me," he said, "and it should be significant to the people of Baltimore."

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