Baltimore suspended part of their Safe Streets anti-violence program after group members in one office were arrested for alleged possession of guns and various drugs.
The drugs include heroin, cocaine, “cutting agents and scales.”
Safe Streets is a program that “uses ex-felons in an effort to stem crime” in four Baltimore neighborhoods. Their operations are funded by Baltimore’s Health Department.
According to The Baltimore Sun, police began investigating the East Baltimore office after responding to a robbery call at “the intersection of Hillen and Forrest streets” around 2:30 a.m. A victim told police, “He was just robbed at gunpoint by two men in a gray SUV.”
Shortly thereafter, “An officer spotted the vehicle parked in the 2300 block of E. Monument and saw men dart inside the Safe Streets office.” Police conducted a raid on the office and discovered the guns, drugs, and drug paraphernalia.
Police arrested nine people–two of whom worked for Safe Streets. One of the two Safe Streets employees was Artez Harris, a “violence interrupter.” The second employee was Ricky Evans. Harris pleaded guilty to a drug charge in 2007 and received 12 years, “with all but two years suspended.” Evans was acquitted of murder in 1999 and again in 2005.
Both the men are now terminated, and the Safe Streets office in which they worked has suspended operations.
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