Some Doubt Mayor's Tie to Drugs
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Police are investigating whether a package of marijuana addressed to the wife of a Prince George's County mayor was really intended to be intercepted by a deliveryman as part of a drug smuggling scheme.
A Prince George's Sheriff's Office SWAT team and county police narcotics officers burst into the house of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo on Tuesday evening after they saw Calvo take the package inside. In the course of the raid, they shot and killed his two black Labrador retrievers.
According to law enforcement sources, police believe it is possible that a deliveryman intended to collect the box from Calvo's porch, either before the package was signed for or after the mayor or his wife reported that it wasn't theirs. They asked to remain anonymous because the investigation is ongoing.
Police had been tracking the package, which was addressed to Calvo's wife, since a police dog at a shipping facility in Arizona alerted authorities to the presence of drugs inside. It was delivered to Calvo's house by police posing as deliverymen and left on his porch at the instructions of his mother-in-law. After the raid, police recovered an unopened package containing more than 30 pounds of marijuana, but they made no arrests.
The possibility that no one in Calvo's house was the intended recipient of the package is among several theories police are pursuing.
Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said that police have made some "headway" in the investigation, which continues.
"I don't think they've shut down any angles in their investigation," he said.
Special Agent Edward Marcinko, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Maryland, said it is not unheard of for traffickers to ship a package to a stranger's home.
In February, for instance, Dunn Loring resident Sid Phillips said his 76-year-old neighbor opened a UPS package left on his porch and discovered marijuana packed in vacuum-sealed pouches inside.
Phillips said the neighbor called him for advice, and the two of them reported the discovery to police. Officers swarmed the house and collected the drugs without incident. The package, Phillips said, had been sent from Arizona, just like the box delivered this week to Calvo in Maryland.
"If the same thing happened to this mayor, I would totally sympathize," Phillips said.
Fairfax police spokesman Don Gotthardt confirmed that police seized approximately four pounds of what they suspected was marijuana in the Dunn Loring incident.