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Drug sweep nets 43

October 10, 2000

Drug sweep nets 43



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


Forty-three people were arrested Tuesday after a four-month investigation involving local, state and federal law enforcement authorities and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Joe Michael announced the arrests during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. He said more arrests are expected.

Michael said members of Hagerstown City Police Street Crimes Unit, Washington County Narcotics Task Force and HUD have been "working a cooperative investigation targeting street-level dealers in and around public housing and Section 8 housing in Hagerstown."

During the investigation, an undercover agent from HUD made covert drug buys, he said.

A display of seized marijuana, cocaine, money and weapons was set up at press conference at Hagerstown City Police Department along with a map of areas in the city targeted by police for the drug raids.

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Michael said the majority of the raids was conducted in the central and western parts of the city.

He said the more than 40 arrests Tuesday and 11 made previously in connection with the investigation will make a dent in Hagerstown's drug problem, but that authorities must remain vigiliant.

"We can't let up at all," said Michael.

More than 80 people were involved in Tuesday's effort. Authorities executed 10 search-and-seizure warrants at the following locations:

  • 813 W. Washington St.
  • 23 Madison Avenue, first floor apartment
  • 551 W. Church St.
  • 931-G Lanvale St.
  • 409 N. Mulberry St.
  • 997 Potomac Avenue, Apt. 3
  • 61 E. Franklin St., Apt. 2
  • 55 S. Potomac St., Apt. 1
  • 325-B N. Jonathan St.
  • 624 Knightsbridge Drive


Officers acted on 32 state indictments and served four arrest warrants on adults and seven on juveniles, he said.

Five search-and-seizure warrants were served earlier in connection with the investigation, said Michael. The five warrants resulted in 11 arrests.

They were served at 229 Summit Avenue's third-floor apartment, 230 Summit Avenue's second-floor apartment, 556 Salem Avenue's second-floor apartment, 832 Lanvale St. and 111 N. Locust St.

The adults arrested Tuesday were being held at the Hagerstown City Police Department or the Washington County Detention Center.

Juveniles were being held at the juvenile holdover on Jonathan Street.

"A great justice has been done today for the city of Hagerstown. With the HUD iniative we hit the street-level dealers hard," said Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II.

He said the effort should make it difficult for buyers to find drug sources and hopefully more will seek treatment.

As a result of the arrests, the "Hagerstown Housing Authority will begin eviction proceedings against all federally assisted residents who have violated HUD's 'One strike and you're out' policy for those engaged in criminal activity," Michael said.

The policy applies to any criminal activity by a tenant or a member of the household who "threatens the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises of other tenants," he said.

Michael said landlords of buildings where drug arrests were made Tuesday will be notified of the state's nuisance abatement ordinance, which requires evictions of those problem tenants.

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