An eight-month undercover investigation by Alexandria police into drug activity in the city's West End has led to the arrest of 10 persons on drug charges, police said yesterday.
Police investigator Ernest (Ted) Corry bought cocaine, marijuana, hashish and phencyclidine (PCP) worth a total of $10,000 from independent street drug dealers, some of whom Corry met through his undercover job as an attendant at a gasoline station in the affluent area, said Corporal Jim Feaster of the police department's vice and narcotics section.
Arrested between Aug. 1 and Aug. 9, police said, were:
Juan Lopez, 27, of 305 E. Howell Ave., Alexandria, charged with one count of selling cocaine and three counts of selling marijuana; James Eddie Otts, 32, of 6501 Wilburn Dr., Seat Pleasant, charged with two counts of selling cocaine; Virginia Lee Broadus, 26, of 6158 Edsall Rd., Alexandria, charged with two counts of selling cocaine and two counts of selling marijuana.
Also, Mark Albert Klein, 18, 3804 Fort Worth Ave., Alexandria, charged with two counts of selling cocaine and two counts of selling marijuana; Michael Anthony McMinn, 19, of 3918 Rugby Rd., Fairfax, charged with four counts of selling marijuana; James Edward Wheeler, 20, of 6300 Wayles St., Springfield, charged with one count of selling marijuana; and Sheri Lynn Sloper, 24, 6150 Edsall Rd., Alexandria, charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Those seven persons had been named in indictments returned by an Alexandria Circuit Court grand jury on Aug. 1. Not charged in the indictments, but arrested Aug. 5 and charged with two counts of selling marijuana, was Preston John Porter Jr., 30, of 156 Maiden Lane, Alexandria, police said.
The eight were released on surety bonds ranging from $1,500 to $25,000, police said.
Arrested Thursday and charged with one count each of selling marijuana, according to Feaster, were John Robert Knenlein, 18, of 5491 Sheffield Ct., Alexandria, and Mikel Arthur Bennett, 18, of 1915 Warren Dr., Woodbridge.
Investigators selected Corry to go undercover with the name of Timothy Belange and live in a $475-a-month studio apartment in the West End's Oakwood complex, Feaster said. A police supervisor kept in touch daily with Corry, who worked part time at a gasoline station where he made contacts with drug dealers, Feaster said.
Feaster said Corry made 41 drug purchases. Three of the suspects were arrested at his undercover apartment, Feaster said, while others were arrested on the street or at their homes.
"I'd just started talking a lot about drugs . . . dropping more or less subtle hints," said Corry, 26, a two-year veteran on the force. After two or three months, Corry said, "I had people calling in my apartment," asking if he was looking for drugs.
Police Chief Charles T. Strobel said he believes the investigation will have some impact on drug activity in Alexandria. However, he said he believes the impact will likely be short-lived.