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Ten arrested in Hagerstown raid

October 07, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

Ten people were arrested on drug charges during Thursday's raid of five downtown Hagerstown buildings, the Washington County Narcotics Task Force said Friday.

Five of those people were arrested when authorities searched apartments 11, 22 and 42 at 29-31 E. Washington St.

The raids were part of a "narcotics nuisance abatement" program - a crackdown on buildings used for drug dealing.

Brett Wilson, an assistant Washington County state's attorney assigned to narcotics nuisance abatement, called the East Washington Street apartment building "one of the most offensive drug dealing buildings in Hagerstown."

Eight of the 10 people arrested Thursday were charged with possessing or distributing cocaine. A ninth person was charged with possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

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Police said the narcotics raids and search warrants were the results of two separate investigations.

The building at 29-31 E. Washington St. was targeted when citizens complained about drug use and sales there, the Narcotics Task Force said.

Apartment 2W at 25-27 E. Washington Street was also searched Thursday as part of the raid.

Police said drugs or drug paraphernalia were found at all four apartments in those two buildings.

In the other investigation, two people were arrested at the Venice Inn on Dual Highway and apartment 1 at 41 East Ave. was searched.

The Task Force said that investigation followed two undercover crack cocaine purchases from Rahiem Ray, 31, of Baltimore, aka "Black."

Ray and Jenito Lorenzo Bernier, 20, of 41 East Ave., Apt. 1, were arrested outside the Venice Inn after the second buy, which happened at about 6 p.m. Thursday, the Narcotics Task Force said.

During the search of 41 East Ave., police allegedly found suspected crack cocaine. Dawn May Lopez, 22, who lived there, was arrested and charged with possessing cocaine. Her two children were turned over to a relative.

"I did not know it was there. It was not mine," Lopez said during her bond hearing before Washington County District Court Judge Ralph France.

A Narcotics Task Force member said a building on Franklin Street was also searched Thursday, but no one was arrested. No other details were available.

- Staff writer Laura Ernde contributed to this story.

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