Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Dozens arrested in drug sweep

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer contributor

        Police in two Northern Kentucky river cities rounded up about 65 people on drug warrants Monday afternoon.

        In Newport, 50 officers descended on Newport Housing Authority apartments. Jim Paine, director of the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force, said officers had warrants and were looking for 20 to 25 people.

        Overhead was a helicopter from the Kentucky Army National Guard to track any fleeing suspects.

        Covington police took 45 warrants to the streets Monday afternoon, seeking to arrest 35 adults and 10 juveniles they say are engaged in street-level dealing of crack cocaine.

        Covington police, culminating a four-month investigation by the Crime Suppression Unit, were making the arrests in connection with drug activity that takes place near 13th and Greenup streets, said Lt. Col. Michael Kraft.

        Thirteen of the people sought in the Covington raid are from Cincinnati, Lt. Col. Kraft said.

        Covington's problem with crack-cocaine dealing isn't any better or any worse than in cities of comparable size, Lt. Col. Kraft said. But, he noted, there are places in Covington where people from Cincinnati and Campbell, Boone and Kenton counties come to buy street drugs.

        “We think we've got a good number of the people we're looking for,” Mr. Paine said of the Newport raid. “There will be more follow-up investigation and more arrests.”

        Mr. Paine said the Newport investigation took about 10 weeks and in many cases involved multiple drug buys. He said officers were looking for crack cocaine and also found marijuana, powder cocaine and heroin. He credited residents for tipping his agents.

        “It's community participation,” Mr. Paine said.“The neighbors get tired of this crap, is what happens.”

       Kakie Urch contributed to this report.


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