Paying the ultimate price for slowing the drug trade
Except for those who live in certain neighborhoods in Washington County, the only visible sign of a thriving drug trade is the lists of suspects and convicted offenders that appear periodically in The Herald-Mail. But producing those lists is more than a matter of typing them up. Suspects must be identified and observed while engaging in criminal behavior, then arrested in a way that protects their rights.
Those involved in the drug trade have no such restraints. If the situation doesn't feel right, no code of conduct prevents them from doing harm to anyone they perceive as a threat.
That's what happened to Maryland State Police Trooper First Class Edward Toatley on Monday night, as he worked undercover in Washington, D.C. As Toatley sat in a car with a drug suspect, the suspect allegedly shot him, then ran from the vehicle. The trooper died shortly after 11 p.m. at the Washington Hospital Center.