Baltimore police arrest 14 in undercover drug sting

Residents however remain unimpressed

BALTIMORE - City police have arrested 14 people in a bid to clean up a violent section of Northwest Baltimore.

There have been 16 murders along the Belvedere Avenue corridor over the past three years.  The most recent was last month, on Cordelia Avenue just off Belvedere.

Police have no suspects, but the drug arrests came in the same neighborhood.

Police said one of the drug crews sold heroin under the brand name "Hellraiser,” the other crew, under the brand "Rick Ross."  More arrests could be made.

Residents we spoke with were less than impressed.

“I don't think that's going to change anything,” said Lee Douglas.

Police officers, they say, should be walking through the neighborhood, talking with people and helping with everyday problems.

“You’ve got to change the atmosphere of the time, the environment you know,” Douglas said.  “You know what the problem is -- people don't have any money, and the right kind of jobs.”

City police say tips from the public did help them track down the suspects.

“For us to solve crime, we need to have the community's assistance.  We need to have them coming forward telling us what's going on and we need to listen to that, and this was the product of that,” said Sgt. Sarah Connolly, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore City Police Department.

The Bel Park Tower is just across Belvedere Avenue from the murder scene on Cordelia.

Last summer dozens of residents said maintenance issues were out of control, and it was too easy for non-residents to walk into the building and cause problems.

Eight months later, they say not much has changed.

“Maintenance is not doing what it's supposed to do; you put in a maintenance request and some of them get done, some of them don't,” said Annette Tucker.

“I'm thanking God that I have a roof over my head and I'm not homeless, but they've got a lot of work to be done in this building,” added Joyce Bell.

They say fixing the building might do more to fix the neighborhood than any number of drug arrests.

“If I knew it was like this I wouldn't have moved up here,” Bell said.

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