Officer charged with trying to rob drug dealer

Police responding to the apartment building on North Boundary Road in Dundalk for an attempted burglary had no idea the suspect would prove to be one of their own.
They arrested 31-year-old Joseph Stanley Harden after he allegedly tried to rob a drug dealer of prescription pain killers.
"He has admitted it.  He has told us he had an addiction,” said Elise Armacost of the Baltimore County Police Department, “We are very saddened by this story.  We certainly hope that he gets help, but this department doesn't tolerate criminal behavior so he has been suspended without pay."
According to charging documents, earlier in the day, Harden had purchased four or five Oxycodone pills from a street level dealer named Stephen Gomez, snorting several of them upon delivery.
But that wasn't enough.
Police say the two men decided to rob Gomez's supplier, and Harden entered the building and beat on his door, attempting to kick it in, all while wearing his badge around his neck.
The dealer kicked out the screen and escaped from a back window after dialing 911.
Officers later spotted both harden and Gomez in a vehicle in the alley behind the complex and subsequently arrested them once they put two and two together.
For Harden, a 10-year veteran of the department, the arrest comes just a year after he was cleared in a fatal shooting at a motel on Pulaski Highway that may have saved the life of a fellow officer.
"He's been on modified duty for some time as a result of injuries sustained in that police-involved shooting at the Colony Motel,” said Armacost, “Whether that is the source of his addiction or not?  We can't answer that question."
When asked how his addiction started, Harden told police it was because of surgery through his work, and he had been on modified duty after he was injured in the Colony Motel incident.
He has been released on a one $100,000 bail.
Print this article Back to Top