About 10 persons arrested Saturday during a drug trafficking crackdown in Southeast Washington are expected to appear in court today, according to police officials.
They were among 81 persons arrested at several locations in the 7th Police District, including two roadblock sites, during the eight-hour operation that began at 2:30 p.m., police said. They said about 80 percent of the those arrested were charged with drug-related offenses, mostly misdemeanors for possession of PCP, marijuana, cocaine and heroin.
Saturday's sweep through Southeast followed by two months a similar citywide operation that resulted in about 400 arrests and sparked a continuing controversy about the use of such roadblocks.
The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics recently approved a petition drive that could put an initiative concerning the use of such roadblocks on the November ballot. Mayor Marion Barry has been a strong supporter of the roadblocks, which have been criticized by civil liberties groups and District City Council Chairman David A. Clarke.
Seventh District police investigator Dan L. Dazzo said yesterday that all cars approaching the roadblocks--initially set up at 16th and U streets SE and moved about four hours later to 15th Street and Robinson Place SE--were stopped and that police checked each driver's license and car registration.
Officials said several hundred persons were stopped and that a few of the approximately 30 arrests made at the roadblocks were for traffic violations. While the roadblocks stopped traffic, officers in plainclothes observed alleged drug transactions at nearby locations and radioed descriptions of people or vehicles to other officers, who stopped suspects as they left the area.
In addition to the roadblock locations, the operation was carried out near two public housing projects--Barry Farms at Sumner and Wade roads SE and Condon Terrace at Sixth Street and Condon Terrace SE, police said.
The city's continuing drug crackdown has been dubbed Operation C-Note, after some drug users' preference for snorting cocaine through rolled $100 bills.