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Baltimore man charged in heroin arrest in Berkeley County

August 31, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Baltimore man was in Eastern Regional Jail on Thursday after he was arrested in connection with a $2,000 deal for 11.8 grams of heroin set up Wednesday by an informant for the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

Edward Joseph Brown 3rd, 18, of 903 Mount Holly St. in Baltimore, was charged with delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver the drug, according to court records.

Monette Denise Blakney, 19, of 1016 Herndon Court in Brooklyn, Md., who police said drove Brown to meet the informant at a convenience store off Exit 20 of Interstate 81, also remained in Eastern Regional Jail on Thursday.

Blakney was charged with aiding the delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver the heroin, according to court records.

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Berkeley County Magistrate Jo Ann Overington set a $110,000 cash-only bond for Brown, and a $60,000 cash-only bond for Blakney, according to court records.

After the deal happened in the parking lot of ROCS convenience store off W.Va. 901, Sheriff's Department Deputy S. Myers chased after Brown after he apparently attempted to flee, according to a sheriff's department press release.

"We did recover the $2,000 from under an air conditioner unit that Brown tried to hide behind after he ran from the scene," Sheriff's Department Lt. Gary Harmison said in a complaint filed in magistrate court.

Police also said a firearm was recovered from the vehicle, and the orchestrated drug purchase happened after several phone calls between the informant and Brown had been recorded.

Sheriff W. Randy Smith said Thursday that service stations just off I-81 exits throughout the county offer an unwanted opportunity for illicit activities, and only available manpower has helped with enforcement.

"We have the same thing with Exit 5 (in southern Berkeley County)," said Smith, who didn't want to single out a particular service station. "It's convenience off the interstate."

Smith said a string of recent heroin arrests demonstrates the continued flow of the drug into the county and the need for more officers to crack down on the business.

"The bottom line is manpower and overtime money," Smith said.

Assisting Harmison, Myers and Smith in the investigation were Chief Deputy Kenneth Lemaster, Sgt. W.A. Johnson and deputies C. Hess and R.L. Steerman.

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