BALTIMORE — Sandwiched on the line between three police districts, regular patrols may not have detected the signs of a major drug distribution ring, but people who live there did.
"The citizens complained, and the citizens bring information to us, and the citizens cry out about open air drug markets and their disgust for the drugs and the violence, and we heard them," said Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
Six months later after numerous undercover, controlled buys, an investigation has paid off.
"The organization we focused on was known to law enforcement as Prime Time and was responsible for distributing fentanyl and other illegal drugs," said Harrison. "The tri-district had seen a large number of fentanyl overdoses and this organization contributed to the poisoning of that community."
Police have arrested the organization's alleged kingpin, 41-year-old David Funderburk of West Baltimore, along with eight of his accomplices.
They will return to the community seeking help in finding others who are now on the run.
"We are still looking for three members of Prime Time,” said Harrison. “They are Eligah Hooks, Travis Jones and Howard Gwaltney. We're asking anyone with information about their whereabouts to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-866-7LOCKUP."
In taking down Prime Time, police have taken 2,000 gel caps of fentanyl off the street, which is 2,000 potential doses of death in the hands of opioid addicts, not to mention the potential for violent crime on the streets where they battle for turf in the illicit and profitable drug trade.
In addition to the fentanyl, detectives recovered 85 grams of crack cocaine, $69,000.00 in cash, a handgun, and $30,000.00 of personal assets during the investigation.
In addition to Funderburk, police also arrested Charles Smith, Candace Taylor, Dante Crawford, Ezekiel Morton, Hugh Morton, Corey Blackwell, Gerald Matthews, and Jovante Nicks.