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Local police recall slain trooper

October 31, 2000

Local police recall slain trooper



By staff and AP


The danger that goes with being an undercover police officer was brought home to many Washington County police officers Tuesday as they learned of the death of a Maryland State Police trooper who often worked drug sting operations here.

Trooper 1st Class Edward M. Toatley was shot Monday night while working undercover with a drug task force in Northeast Washington, D.C., state police said.

A decorated 16-year veteran of the force, Toatley was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. Monday at Washington Hospital Center.

He is survived by a wife, an 18-month-old daughter and two sons, ages 5 and 18.

"Ed was a dedicated Maryland state trooper who loved his family, his fellow troopers and he loved serving and protecting the people of Maryland," said state police Superintendent Col. David B. Mitchell, who was with Toatley's family at the trooper's bedside when he died.

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"He gave his all tonight, and will forever be known as a fallen hero of the Maryland State Police," Mitchell said.

Sgt. Rick Johnson of the Regional DEA Task Force in Washington County remembered Toatley as an experienced undercover operator when the Washington County Narcotics Task Force was getting off the ground more than a dozen years ago.

"He was extremely good at what he did," Johnson said, noting that Toatley and others would come to Hagerstown to pose as drug dealers during reverse stings.

Hagerstown Police Lt. Roy Cave said he remembered Toatley's efforts to help Hagerstown police stem the growing tide of drugs coming into the community.

Sgt. Joe Gentile, a spokesman for Washington's Metropolitan Police Department, said Toatley was working with a drug task force called Safe Streets. The FBI and Prince George's County police also are involved in the task force.

Toatley was reportedly close to concluding a drug deal inside a sport utility vehicle on a dark side street around 8:30 p.m. when he was shot.

District police obtained an arrest warrant Tuesday for Kofi Apea Orleans-Lindsay, 23, believed to live in Montgomery County. FBI and police were searching for the Ghana native Tuesday night.

Maryland State Police said Toatley joined the investigation into the drug trades of Washington, D.C., and Prince George's County several weeks ago. He had already made several drug buys earlier Monday while working undercover.

Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening Tuesday designated a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot Toatley in addition to $10,000 offered by D.C. police and $1,000 offered by Metro Crime Stoppers.

Toatley was the president of the Coalition of Black Maryland State Troopers. He had participated in a fund-raising event two weeks ago for the Maryland chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors, a group that supports families of troopers killed on the job.

He is the 38th Maryland trooper to die in the line of duty.

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